AIMING FOR THE RUNNER-UP SLOT! A1 Team France leaves Shanghai in China having added another 3 points to its tally thanks to Franck Montagny's 8th place in the Feature race. As expected, starting from 18th on the grid he did not manage to...
AIMING FOR THE RUNNER-UP SLOT!
A1 Team France leaves Shanghai in China having added another 3 points to its tally thanks to Franck Montagny's 8th place in the Feature race.
As expected, starting from 18th on the grid he did not manage to score in the Short race. He got as high as 12th but lacked the time to move up further.
In the Feature race Franck was up to 9th place in the first corner and he got past his closest rival Great Britain during the first round of refuelling stops. Although he was much quicker than the cars in front of him passing them on the track proved impossible. The team tried to put back his second stop slightly to help him overtake in the pits. To no avail as he rejoined in 8th place where he stayed till the finish.
A1 Team France has 111 points but the 2007/2008 title is now beyond its grasp. It can still aim for the runner-up slot though, as it is only 10 points behind New Zealand. This will be the squad's objective in the last round of the season in 3 weeks' time at Brands Hatch.
Olivier Panis, sporting director: "Today's scenario was what we expected. We knew it would be difficult to score points in the first race and that we could move up a few places in the second. And that's what happened. We could probably have finished a little higher up, but we were unable to get past Malaysia and India, which held Franck up for two-thirds of the long race. Today, mathematically speaking, we're no longer in the running for the title, so our aim is to move up a place in the overall classification at Brands Hatch and finish the season in second position. Bravo to the whole team for its work this weekend."
Franck Montagny, driver: "Today's two races helped me to accumulate experience in the car and it's now much more to my liking. I did the maximum here but my aero set-up prevented me from overtaking some cars, which were slower than me over a lap. I spent the whole afternoon glued to a rival's gearbox, and this meant that I wasn't able to set competitive times: the car's at least 0.4s quicker than our fastest lap today. Now, we're going to concentrate on the next meeting. I don't know the Brands Hatch circuit, but maybe that's an advantage, as I won't arrive with my F1 points of reference. It'll be much easier to adapt my driving style right from the start to the very special characteristics of the A1GP car."
-credit: team france