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Mexico City: Team France Sunday notes

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Mexico City: Team France Sunday notes
Mar 18, 2008, 6:08 AM

A day to forget After a difficult qualifying session, A1 Team France's luck did not improve today (Sunday). Whether in the Sprint or Feature Races Jonathan Cochet was never in a position to score points despite a well-handling car. The Sprint ...

A day to forget

After a difficult qualifying session, A1 Team France's luck did not improve today (Sunday). Whether in the Sprint or Feature Races Jonathan Cochet was never in a position to score points despite a well-handling car.

The Sprint Race got off to a chaotic start with a collision near Jonathan's car, which led to the race being stopped. When the restart was given he moved up a place from 16th by overtaking Pakistan. He then got up to 12th despite a 3-second penalty for overtaking India under yellow flags.

In the Feature Race, Jonathan made a good start gaining 2 places, which he unfortunately lost almost immediately. The team then changed its strategy and allowed him to stay out on a clear track. This manoeuvre did not help the A1 Team France driver's progression up the time sheets, as he found himself seventeenth. With the help of various race incidents he fought his way up to thirteenth, and then lost 2 places to Indonesia and New Zealand before finally finishing thirteenth.

These results did not add any points to A1 Team France's tally. Thanks to the Sprint race Switzerland increased its lead in the overall classification and New Zealand slipped into second place. The problems met by these 2 teams in the Feature Race helped A1 Team France to limit the damage, and it left Mexico in 3rd position 20 points behind Switzerland and 5 behind New Zealand.

Olivier Panis, sporting director : "It's a pity to have finished just outside the points in both cases. Jonathan did a pretty good job in the first race, but it was really difficult for him to make up places in such a short event that was also interrupted by the safety car. We couldn't hope for better. The second race was another disappointment, as again we didn't score. We're now in third place in the championship 5 points behind the second-placed team. It's up to us to make a huge effort to fight our way back to the front."

Jonathan Cochet: "It was one tough day! I reckon that a points finish in the Feature race was on the cards, all the more so as both Switzerland and New Zealand failed to score. I'm really disappointed. I still have a fair amount of work to do, as I've got problems getting the best out of the new tyres."

-credit: france

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Standings after Mexico City

Standings after Mexico City
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Series A1GP
Drivers Jonathan Cochet