Olivier Panis, new sporting director

Olivier Panis, new sporting director

12.10.2007: Olivier Panis, new sporting director

A1 Team France is delighted to announce that the former F1 driver has been confirmed as sporting director for the 2007-2008 season. Olivier will give the team the benefit of his immense experience and his advice from this weekend on at the two rounds on the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic. The team’s aim is to win its first race of the season.

Nicolas Prost made his track debut this morning in the two sessions for the rookies. He was on the worn tyres from Zandvoort and was immediately on the pace; he was able to give the A1 Team France engineers information in view of Sunday’s races. He made no mistakes and got to know the car better. The designated driver, Nicolas Lapierre, then took over.

Once again the team preferred to concentrate on race set-up. It finished the day in seventh place and will prepare for qualifying during tomorrow’s free practice. Everything’s looking good after the first day’s sessions in the Czech Republic and A1 Team France will tackle the second day brimful of confidence.

Olivier Panis: "I’m delighted to put my motor racing experience at the disposal of A1 Team France this year. I have to say that I’m very impressed by the professionalism of the championship, the performance level of the cars and A1 Team France’s organisation. This year, the performances are very close and the tiniest detail can make the difference. I’ve always loved the technical side of racing, and my role will be to help the team progress by talking a lot with both the engineers and drivers. Finally, I’ve always been a bit of a patriot as throughout my F1 career I made it a point of honour to live in my own country. So it was normal for me to accept the offer from A1 Team France when it came."

 

Nicolas Lapierre: "I went out on new rubber straight away this morning and as I hadn’t raced on this track for a year it was a slight disadvantage. Nonetheless, we continued our programme for Sunday. The performance level of the tyres has a tendency to fall off very quickly on this circuit.

This will be the key to the weekend. You’ll have to know how to get the best out of them over a lap in qualifying, and then nurse their wear in the race itself. It’s difficult to overtake on this track so your position on the grid will be of vital important. I

 think we made a lot of progress this morning and I feel optimistic for the rest of the weekend."

Nicolas Prost: "What was important for me today was to get into the right rhythm very quickly and begin the team’s preparation programme by giving them reliable information.

I think I managed to do that and this first test gave everybody confidence. The rookies go out on tyres whose state of wear is very varied, and the overall results are of very relative importance as lap times were not a priority.

I like the Brno layout very much and I’m happy with my day.

Finally, Olivier Panis’s input has been very useful and we’re all delighted to have him with us."

 

- Agnes Carlier -  photos A1GP

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/a1-team-france-olivier-panis-new-sporting-director-brno-circuit-nicolas-prost-lapierre-performance-zandvoort-czech-republic-photos---28991.html

12.10.2007 / MaP

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