Fourth and fifth grid positions for A1 Team Switzerland in New Zealand

Fourth and fifth grid positions for A1 Team Switzerland in New Zealand

24.01.2009: Tyre problems for Neel Jani The qualifying sessions for the A1GP races at Taupo, New Zealand, didn't go as expected for the Swiss team. Fourth place on the grid for the sprint race and fifth place for the feature race wasn't quite what the defending champ

Tyre problems for Neel Jani



The qualifying sessions for the A1GP races at Taupo, New Zealand, didn't go as expected for the Swiss team. Fourth place on the grid for the sprint race and fifth place for the feature race wasn't quite what the defending champions had expected. Neel Jani concluded that the tyres were the problem.

"After the free practice sessions, that all went well, we had expected much more", said Neel Jani. "With used tyres, I had usually been three to four tenths of a second faster than the rest of the field. But in qualifying, the balance of the car was by no means satisfying. In the corners, the rear of the car suddenly slid out, sometimes at the entry of a corner, sometimes at the exit."

Quick changes to the set-up didn't cure the problem. Especially in the first sector, but also in the third part of the track, a lot of time was lost, exactly in those areas where everything had been going smoothly in free practice. "Until the end, I couldn't find the right approach", said Jani. "However, I am still not too pessimistic as far as the races are concerned, because we will be out on used tyres in the races. Now, we hope to be able to overtake a few opponents with a good start and an appropriate pit stop strategy."

Max Welti didn't hide his disappointment either: "Based on the practice results, we had expected to be on the front row", the team principal stated. "We considered Ireland and maybe France as our strongest rivals in the battle for pole position. Now, we are also behind The Netherlands, Portugal and Australia. Moreover, our gap to the fastest times is much too big."

Nevertheless, confidence within the Swiss team hasn't disappeared completely. "We have planned to turn something bad into something good on Sunday", said Welti. However, the 3.5 kilometres long circuit in Taupo with some challenging corners isn't particularly suited to make up many places. Especially the 15 lap sprint race will most likely see little position changes as a result. The 50 lap feature race will provide more opportunities.

The positions on the first three rows of the grid are quite similar for the two races. Both times, the first three places have been taken by Ireland, current leaders in the points' standings of the World Cup of Motorsport, The Netherlands and Portugal. They are followed by Switzerland, France and New Zealand in the sprint race and Australia, Switzerland and Malaysia in the feature race.

The rule introduced in Malaysia that allows the drivers to use the "power boost" in one of the four qualifying segments, releasing some 60 additional horsepower by pushing a button, was abandoned at Taupo following requests by numerous teams. At Sepang, this measure had led to rather unusual starting grid positions. For the two races, everything remains the same: four "boosts" are allowed in the sprint race and eight in the feature race.

Taupo (New Zealand). A1GP (World Cup of Motorsport). Starting grid positions for the sprint race
: 1 Ireland (Adam Carroll) 1:14.507. 2 Netherlands (Robert Doornbos) 0.265 seconds down. 3 Portugal (Filipe Albuquerque) 0.281. 4 Switzerland (Neel Jani) 0.695. 5 France (Loïc Duval) 0.853. 6 New Zealand (Chris van der Drift) 0.950. 7 Australia (John Martin) 0.997. 8 Italy (Edoardo Piscopo) 1.107. 9 Malaysia (Fairuz Fauzy) 1.203 10 Lebanon (Daniel Morad) 1.332. 11 South Africa (Adrian Zaugg) 1.410. 12 Mexico (Salvador Durán) 1.465. 13 Brazil (Felipe Guimarães) 1.567. 14 India (Narain Karthikeyan) 1.639. 15 Great Britain (Dan Clarke) 1.840. 16 Monaco (Clivio Piccione) 1.917. 17 USA (Marco Andretti) 2.284. 18 China (Cheng Cong Fu) 2.378. 19 Indonesia (Satrio Hermanto) 2.759.

Starting grid positions for the feature race: 1 Ireland 1:14.411. 2 Netherlands 0.265. 3 Portugal 0.432. 4 Australia 0.565. 5 Switzerland 0.632. 6 Malaysia 0.835. 7 France 1.012. 8 USA 1.116. 9 Lebanon 1.176. 10 New Zealand 1.211. 11 India 1.288. 12 Brazil 1.401. 13 Mexico 1.481. 14 Great Britain 1.491. 15 Italy 1.531. 16 South Africa 1.753. 17 Monaco 2.324. 18 Indonesia 2.372. 19 China 2.773.

Pratice before qualifying:
1. Italy 1:15.112. 2. Netherlands 0.133. 3. Switzerland 0.541. 4 USA 0.632. 5. Portugal 0.880. 6. France 1.021. 7. Ireland 1.093. 8. Australia 1.202. 9. Lebanon 1.488. 10 Mexico 1.498. 11. New Zealand 1.561. 12. Brazil 1.583. 13. Malaysia 1.674. 14. South Africa 1.722. 15. Monaco 1.723. 16. Great Britain 1.886. 17. India 1.901. 18. Indonesia 2.350. 19. China 2.384.

PROGRAMME.
Sunday. 11.00 - 11.30 (Sat 23.00 - 23.30): sprint. 15.00 - 16.10 (03.00 - 04.10): feature race.

A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. Standings after 6 of 18 rounds
: 1. Ireland 43. 2. Portugal 35. 3. France 31. 4. New Zealand 31. 5. Malaysia 29. 6. Switzerland 28. 7. Netherlands 26. 8. Australia 22. 9. Great Britain 16. 10. USA 16. 11. South Africa 15. 12. Monaco 9. 13. Italy 4. 14. Brazil 4. 15. Korea 4. 16. China 4. 17. Lebanon 3. 18. India 1. 19. Indonesia 0. 20. Mexico 0.

TV: Schweizer Sportfernsehen SSF (STAR TV channel): Sunday, 20.00 - 22.00 CET. -- NT1: Sunday, 15.00. -- AB Moteurs: Saturday, 14.00 (Qualifying) and Sunday, 14.00. (Sprint Race) -- RaiSportPiù: Sunday, 14.00.



- Michael Schneider - photos A1Team Switzerland

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/a1-team-switzerland-new-zealand-neel-jani-tyre-problems-max-welti-qualifying---54994.html

24.01.2009 / MaP

More News

A1 Team Brazil - Taupo Qualifying Summary
24.01.2009
A1 Team Brazil’s Felipe Guimarães today qualified for this weekend’s A1GP Taupo event at the Taupo Motorsports Park in New Zealand. He will begin tomorrow’s Sprint race from the seventh row of the grid and the Featur more >>
Top Ten double for A1 Team Lebanon
24.01.2009
The Lebanon flag flew over Taupo today, not only for a strong qualifying performance by Daniel Morad and A1 Team Lebanon, but also with a group of super-fans, who had travelled from Australia to support the team. Millions more >>
First time on the A1GP powered by Ferrari car for Duran and Garcia
24.01.2009
The Mexico A1GP team had this Friday its first experience with the A1GP Powered by Ferrari car in Taupo. The team not only tried the car for the first time on this circuit, also its driver lineup is new, at least for this season. Today we were able to see again more >>
Alexandre Imperatori leads A1GP Rookie practice in Taupo
24.01.2009
The young swiss driver made it to the top of the sheets in the first practice session of A1GP in Taupo on his first visit to the circuit.Taupo, New Zealand, welcomes the fourth round of the 2008/2009 A1GP season this week-e more >>
Two fastest times for A1 Team Switzerland in New Zealand
23.01.2009
Convincing performance by recovered Neel Jani and rookie Alex Imperatori For Team Switzerland, the A1GP race weekend at the other side of the world has got off to a good start. Neel Jani seems to have more >>
It's blast off for A1 Team Lebanon
23.01.2009
Daniel Morad and A1 Team Lebanon didn’t just blow the cobwebs off their A1GP car, they blew away all but one other nation in today’s practice session in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, Taupo, New Zealand. And this brilliant performance was ac more >>
James Winslow and Dan Clarke in action for A1 Team GBR
23.01.2009
...  as A1GP Taupo race weekend begins in New ZealandTaupo, New Zealand, Friday 23 January 2009 –After a two month break, A1 Team Great Britain was back in action today in Taupo, New Zealand as the f more >>
A1 Team Brazil - Taupo Practice Summary
23.01.2009
Free Practice 1a - Laps: 16 - Position: 5th  - Fastest Lap: 1:19.602 (+0.350)Free Practice 1b - Laps: 18 - Position: 7th - Fastest Lap: 1:18.896 (+0.805)Free Practice 2 - Laps: 32 - Position: 15th - Fastest Lap: 1:17.220 (+1.249)A1 Team Brazil was back on track today as the fourth round of the 2008/09 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport got more >>
A1 Team Switzerland aiming for victory in New Zealand
22.01.2009
Neel Jani still slightly affected after virusIn Taupo (New Zealand), the A1 Team Switzerland will be starting into the second third of the season with the aim to head into the top three in t more >>
A1 Team Lebanon take on Taupo
22.01.2009
It’s a country with more sheep than people, one of the best rugby teams in the world and a top tourist destination, heightened by its beautiful scenery featured in classic films such as the Lord of the Rings. New Zealand is also the next venue for th more >>
A1 Team Brazil ready to resume racing action in New Zealand
22.01.2009
After a two-month winter break, the 2008/09 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport will resume this weekend in Taupo, New Zealand, for round four of the championship. Felipe Guimarães will once again be in action for A1 Team Brazil, and will be more >>
Duran and Garcia are ready for Taupo
22.01.2009
A1 Team Mex drivers Salvador Duran and Juan Pablo Garcia arrived to New Zealand this Tuesday for the next round of the A1GP series which will take place this weekend in Taupo Motorsport Park.&r more >>
A1 Team GBR announces Dan Clarke for New Zealand
22.01.2009
Former Champ Car driver Dan Clarke will race for his nation in New Zealand as A1 Team GBR heads to Taupo determined to move up the championship leaderboardA1 Team Great Britain is gearing up for round four of the 2008/09 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in New Zealand next week, and is pleased to announce that Dan Clarke will join the team for the first time to more >>
Auto Sport Award for A1 Team Switzerland
05.12.2008
This Friday, Auto Sport Switzerland and the National Sports Commission have awarded A1 Team Switzerland the 'Auto Sport Award' for special merits regarding Swiss motor racing. In more >>
Neel Jani nominated for the "Oscar of motorsport"
05.12.2008
A great honour for Neel Jani: the driver of the A1 Team Switzerland has been placed on the list of candidates for the "international driver of the year" award by renowned British motorsport maga more >>
High and low for A1 Team Switzerland
23.11.2008
Victory and retirement for Neel Jani at Sepang The continuing more >>
Heartache for Lebanon to close out the year
23.11.2008
A1 Team Lebanon, tugging at the heartstrings of its nation, started the main race today in third place and after only one lap were lying second, but in the high pressured environment at the sharp end of A1GP, nothing can be taken for granted. Daniel Morad p more >>
No points for A1 Team GBR as technical issues and a Feature race tussle blight progress in Malaysia.
23.11.2008
Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday 23 November 2008 – It was a disapp more >>
A1 Team Brazil - Sepang Race Summary
23.11.2008
2008/09 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, Round 3 – Sepang, Malaysia more >>
2001-2021 copyright automobilsport.com