A1 Team Germany not rewarded for qualifying pace The third season of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport kicked off in style at Zandvoort with fans on packed grandstands watching two exciting races that saw last year's title winning A1 Team ...
A1 Team Germany not rewarded for qualifying pace
The third season of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport kicked off in style at Zandvoort with fans on packed grandstands watching two exciting races that saw last year's title winning A1 Team Germany scoring its first points of the season. However, the team suffered a major setback owing to a gearbox issue. In qualifying the 550 PS A1 GP single-seater for the third and first rows respectively, the team's nominated driver Christian Vietoris from Gonnersdorf continued the strong performances shown by A1 Team Germany last season. Whilst sixth place in the Sprint race reflected the car's pace previously shown in qualifying, A1 Team Germany suffered bad luck in the Feature race and dropped back from second to ninth place.
Having qualified the car on sixth position for the Sprint race, Christian Vietoris defended his position at the start. Dutch driver Jeroen Bleekemolen was the only rival who managed to improve his position inside the top six group, climbing up two positions until the finish line. A1 Team Germany opted for a steady pace in dry conditions and finished sixth, claiming five points after the twelve-lap heat.
In the Feature race, A1 Team Germany dropped back owing to a transmission issue that needs to be analysed thoroughly before any conclusions can be drawn. After a good start, Christian Vietoris realized on the long straights that he was unable to use all six gears properly. This caused a lack of top speed on the fast track where the top teams drive at an average speed of 160 kph on a flying lap. Owing to the transmission issue, the 45 lap race turned into a damage limitation exercise for A1 Team Germany. Despite the setback, 18-year-old Christian Vietoris maintained his concentration and finished ninth, scoring another two points.
Christian Vietoris: "This was not the weekend we've expected. In qualifying, we've shown that we've been able to mix it with the top. The David Sears Motorsport team adapted quickly to the changing track conditions between dry and wet and helped me reaching third and first row on the starting grids. Finishing sixth in the Sprint race was okay, in spite of a minor issue with the brakes. The Feature race, however, was the biggest disappointment of the weekend. From second on the grid, everything was possible. After a good start, I realized on the straights that something was wrong and we didn't reach top speed as I wasn't able to use the six gears properly. We later found out that this had cost me roughly 2.5 seconds per lap. We have to make sure this doesn't happen again next time."
Willi Weber: "It was good to see A1 Team Germany racing in front of a huge crowd here at Zandvoort. Obviously, expectations were high as we are last year's title winners and we started from third and first rows on the grids for the two races. I would have loved to see Christian fighting for the top. It's disappointing that we haven't been able to make the most of our starting positions. I'm sure the experienced team will find out soon what exactly has caused our problems. Finally, we've scored a total of seven points from both races. We've seen in qualifying that the speed is there. In two weeks' time, we want to be back at the top at Brno in the second round of the A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport."