Limited track time for A1 Team Brasil in Shanghai Practice The penultimate round of the 2006/07 A1GP World Cup of Nations got underway today at the Shanghai International Circuit with two free practice sessions, however, technical problems in...
Limited track time for A1 Team Brasil in Shanghai Practice
The penultimate round of the 2006/07 A1GP World Cup of Nations got underway today at the Shanghai International Circuit with two free practice sessions, however, technical problems in both sessions limited running for A1 Team Brasil, leaving the squad with a lot to do in tomorrow's final one-hour practice session, prior to qualifying.
This morning's rookie practice sessions saw female driver Bia Figueiredo get her first taste of the A1GP car, the most powerful car she has driven to date. A problem with the fire extinguisher caused her to miss most of the first 25-minute segment, only getting on track for the final 25 minutes, during which time she had to learn the track and get to grips with her new machinery. However, once on track she performed well, completing 13 laps, and setting a time just three tenths of a second off the race-winning New Zealand car.
Vitor Meira stepped into the cockpit for this afternoon's one-hour practice session, once again a newcomer to the Team Brasil car. However, after just three laps, he was forced into the pits for lengthy repair work after suffering a water leak. He got back out on track with just ten minutes left in the session, completed 8 further laps, and set a time of 1:37.378, which was 1.8 seconds off pace-setters and last round winners, Team Great Britain.
Emerson Fittipaldi: "Both drivers have been very professional today. Bia did a very good job this morning. She didn't run the first session so she had to learn the track and the car in just 25 minutes. It's the most powerful cars she has driven, Shanghai is a very long track and she was just three seconds off the pace of the fastest guy, and only three tenths off New Zealand, which is a very quick car. What happened to Vitor this afternoon was a shame. We had a water leak and so he could only do ten laps. He needs miles and so I hope that tomorrow we can run for the full hour. It was Vitor's first time in the car and driving this circuit, and he did a good job on the few laps that he was able to do."
Vitor Meira: "I was really convinced we wouldn't get to go out on track again after we had the problem, so actually it ended up being better than at one point we thought it would be. It was good to have the ten laps at the end but we could have done more. I had three laps at the start, so one good thing was that while the car was being fixed I thought about what I wanted to do, so that's why I was two seconds faster straight away when I did go out again. The car is very interesting - there is a lot of power and it takes a bit of getting used to, but it's a lot of fun. The circuit and facility here is amazing. It's different coming from American circuits, the European-style circuits are different, they have long flowing corners, whereas in America it's a little more stop and go. It means I have to adapt a little bit but everything will be fine.
Bia Figueiredo: "Unfortunately we couldn't run in the first part and I had just the second part, but it was great. I didn't make any mistakes, and kept improving my time and confidence with the car, which is what they wanted from me. The car has so much power, it's fast! I came into the box smiling because it was a really great experience driving this car. The circuit is very good, the first corner is very fast. Unfortunately I had just ten laps but everything went well so I hope I can drive the car again."
-credit: team brasil