Top Ten Qualifying for A1 Team Brasil in Taupo Sergio Jimenez will line up on the fifth and sixth rows of the grid for the sprint and feature races respectively at the Taupo circuit in New Zealand for round five of the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup...
Top Ten Qualifying for A1 Team Brasil in Taupo
Sergio Jimenez will line up on the fifth and sixth rows of the grid for the sprint and feature races respectively at the Taupo circuit in New Zealand for round five of the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport tomorrow. Sergio qualified for the races in tenth and 11th positions after struggling with balance issues throughout the session.
Following this morning's one-hour practice session, the team was hopeful of a top six position ahead of qualifying. Sergio completed 24 laps and finished the session eighth fastest, with things looking promising as he consistently improved his times throughout the hour.
However, when it came to qualifying for the sprint race, Sergio found himself struggling with the balance of the car on the bumpy Taupo track. He went out in the first segment on new tyres with less than a minute of the session remaining. He set a lap of 1:17.516 and was in provisional seventh. Unfortunately, in the second segment, despite once again running on new tyres and improving his earlier time by more than a second with a 1:16.408, Sergio slipped down the order to tenth as lap times tumbled in the dying seconds of the session.
Although the team worked on the balance for the first segment of feature race qualifying, Sergio still struggled, setting a time of 1:16.647 on old tyres, and headed into the final segment in provisional 14th. On fresh rubber once again, and finally with a more balanced car, Sergio was able to set his best lap of qualifying with a time of 1:16.024. However, in an extremely competitive session, his time saw him settle for 11th position.
Sergio Jimenez: "Once again we started qualifying with a car that was difficult to drive. It was very nervous and these balance problems really affected our qualifying. We improved the car slightly for feature race qualifying but it was not enough. We finally found something in the last session but it was too late by then, we just didn't find the balance in time. We have a car good enough to be in the top five or six but we always struggle with balance in qualifying. I'm pretty confident for the races tomorrow though. The car is good, we can go fast and I just hope that there are no incidents and we can have a strong finish."
Emerson Fittipaldi, Team Principal: "We lost time because the windy conditions affected the set-up and we had some balance problems. Sergio was very quick on the fast corners this morning, but lost speed on those corners this afternoon. He was not happy with the car because it was very nervous on the fast corners. We lost half a second on set-up and we could have been top five."