Shanghai: Team France Friday notes

A1 Team France gets down to the nitty gritty Today, A1 Team France took part in the first practice sessions for the second-last round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport Championship on the Shanghai circuit in China. Nicolas Prost drove the car in...

A1 Team France gets down to the nitty gritty Today, A1 Team France took part in the first practice sessions for the second-last round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport Championship on the Shanghai circuit in China. Nicolas Prost drove the car in the 2 rookie sessions, and then handed over to Franck Montagny for the final hour's practice. Nicolas ran in a new engine and then bedded in brake pads and discs. He set the second- quickest time behind Portugal. Franck got down to the task of understanding the car, and in a series of short runs he went through the various chassis set-ups to evaluate its reactions and balance. He finished seventh overall 0.599s off the quickest time but only 0.222s off second place. The aim is to take advantage of tomorrow's free session to fine-tune the car's qualifying set- up.

The whole team is brimming with confidence and reckons that a good qualifying performance is within its grasp. Olivier Panis, sporting director: "The whole team did a great job today. Nicolas showed that he now understands the car perfectly and his contribution is very useful. The speed with which Franck got to grips with how the car works is mind-boggling, and he's already among the front runners! We're feeling optimistic for the rest of the weekend, although we know we've got a lot of work to do to achieve the performances we're aiming at."

Franck Montagny, driver: "In my early laps in the A1 Team France car it was important to got down to basics to understand the chassis' reactions. It's very different to what I've been used to driving over the past six or seven years. I had to modify my approach slightly to cope with the low aero grip and the tyres' characteristics, but overall I'm happy. We've still got to fine-tune one or two things between now and tomorrow and I think we'll be on the pace. I already feel at home in the team, which has done everything in its power to make things easy for me."

Nicolas Prost, test driver: "A very positive day. After running in the engine in the first session I began evaluating the set-ups in the second. The car was quick right from the start and I felt very condifent. Finally, I set the second-quickest time on worn rubber 0.3s behind Portugal, which was on new tyres. It bodes well for the rest of the weekend."

-credit: team france

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Olivier Panis , Franck Montagny , Nicolas Prost