A1 GP Series - No succes for A1 Team Netherlands at Laguna Seca

A1 GP Series - No succes for A1 Team Netherlands at Laguna Seca

13.03.2006: A1 GP Series - No succes for A1 Team Netherlands at Laguna Seca



There were no points for A1 Team Netherlands at the A1 Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. After finishing in fourteenth in the Sprint race the team did not see the chequred flag in the Feature race.Changing weather conditions didn’t make the conditions at Laguna Seca today any easier. First the warm up was delayed until just before the starting procedure of the Sprintrace because track conditions had turned the schedule upside down. As the teams were on the starting grid it started raining heavily and A1 Team Netherlands switched to wet weather tyres, as did all other teams. Verstappen was not able to make any real progress in the Sprint race. Difficult conditions, a soaked track and spins made that A1 Team Netherlands had to settle for fourteenth place.

From that position A1 Team Netherlands started the Feature race. By then it was completely dry at Laguna Seca. The track was still a bit wet at the start, but it dried quickly. Verstappen again had a superb start and immediately was able to move up to eighth. After an early pitstop by the team, where they switched to slick tyres, the safety car came out on track. During that safety car Jos was said to have overtaken under yellow. A1 Team Netherlands received a drive through penalty. As Jos Verstappen entered the pitlane, he drove through the pitlane just over the speed limit. After Verstappen came out on track again, the team immediately got another drive through. Verstappen came in again straight away, parked his car at the team and got out immediately. Subsequently the race was over for A1 Team Netherlands.

Verstappen, who understandebly was not in his best mood because of the way the races went today, was surprised about the penalty. "It was said that I had overtaken under yellow, during the first lap of the safety car situation. As I passed the pitlane exit, the Czech Republic came out after their stop. I was next to them and went into turn 2 in front of the Czech Republic. I did not see any yellow flags in turn 2 and was very surprised that the officials decided to give a through. When entering the pitlane I might have been over the speed limit a bit. If you receive another penalty straight away, it’s no use continuing the race. Next to that I suffered from ‘ free play’ in the steering after the contact with Brazil".

Team principal Jan Lammers could understand that Verstappen got out of the car after the two drive through penalties. "Principally speaking, you should never give up, but under these considering what happened I can easily understand this. We know Jos is someone who has got temperament. We all think that’s great with overtaking and action on the track. If something like this happens he has got the same temperament, we just have to accept this. I don’t think it would have made a big difference if we would have continued the race. As far as the penalties are concerned we are busy checking the facts. We have to see if the data we have is correct. It will be a borderline case and of course we are leaning towards the opinion that it was just a wrong call. We first have to check this. When we received the second drive through the race was over for us. If it’s concluded that the officials made a wrong decision we have to see what our options are. Maybe officials can also receive some penalty or fine if they make a wrong decision. The whole weekend was very difficult for us. We did not come here for this. We have to asses the damage after the weekend. It could well be much better when we head off to China.



A1 Team Mexico took the win in both races today. France, before the race almost certain of the title, won the first ever World Cup of Motorsport with a second in the Sprint race.

In two weeks time the final race of the inaugural A1 Grand Prix season will be held, at the Shanghai circuit in China. Despite scoring no points this weekend A1 Team Netherlands remain fifth in the series and because Brazil also did not score any points there is still a good prospect of finishing fourth.

- A1 Team Netherland -
photos by A1 Team Netherland

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13.03.2006 / MaP

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