A1GP in Shanghai: Switzerland with Neel Jani in fourth place after troublesome practice For quite a while, the Swiss A1GP-team was having trouble in first practice for the A1GP round in Shanghai. Only on his second to last lap, Neel Jani managed...
A1GP in Shanghai: Switzerland with Neel Jani in fourth place after troublesome practice
For quite a while, the Swiss A1GP-team was having trouble in first practice for the A1GP round in Shanghai. Only on his second to last lap, Neel Jani managed to post a decent lap time which promoted him to fourth place in the classification.
Eventually, only Portugal, New Zealand and the Czech Republic were quicker than Switzerland. Contrarily to Jani and New Zealander, Jonny Reid, Portuguese Filipe Albuquerque and Czech Filip Salaquarda benefited from the fact that they had already taken part in the rookie session in the morning.
Together with engineer James Robinson and the mechanics, Neel Jani tried many different settings which initially turned out to be dissatisfying. "After the first 30 minutes, we didn't find the right way", said Jani. "It took us quite long to find a solution. But in the end, it turned out to be all right."
Contrarily to several other drivers, Neel Jani had his maiden outing in an A1-car at Shanghai. His only knowledge of the track came from an outing as a test driver for Formula 1 team Toro Rosso in September 2006. "This was not very helpful because we are using a significantly different track lay-out this time."
In spite of the difficulties encountered in practice, team principal Max Welti remained confident: "After we had a hard time early on, we eventually found the right way. First of all, we want to defend our lead in the points' standings of the Nations' Cup and be well prepared for the finale at Brands Hatch." Although theoretically, Switzerland can already claim the title in China, the battle for the title is likely to be decided only in Great Britain on May 4th. Currently, Switzerland is leading with 128 points from New Zealand (113), France (108) and Great Britain (95).
In the rookie session, Alexandre Imperatori managed to turn his home advantage into top times, as expected. The 21-year old driver, who moved to Shanghai a few weeks ago, immediately found his way at the track that he knows from his participation in Asian Formula Renault, although he only arrived in Shanghai very late on Thursday night due to Formula 3 commitments in Japan. In the first part of the session, Imperatori was only 74 hundredths of a second slower than Portugal with Filipe Albuquerque. After the break. Albuquerque was fastest again, this time some three tenths of a second ahead of France (Nicolas Prost) and Switzerland. Next to Portugal, China, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Czech Republic and the USA are only running one driver this weekend.
-credit: team switzerland