A1 Team Netherlands on top after first day

Fri, 18 November 2005, 02:32

After the first two free practice sessions of the A1 Grand Prix of Nations Malaysia at the Sepang International Circuit, A1 Team Netherlands is on top. During the first free practice session of the day Jos Verstappen set a fastest laptime of 1’56.342. At the end of the day this proved to be out of reach for everyone else. Both free practice sessions were run under complete dry and very warm conditions. Halfway through the second session there was a slight threat of rain, but it was limited to a few drops. With the fastest time of the first day the A1GP weekend at Sepang starts off very well for A1 Team Netherlands. Off course the team is hoping to continue the pace now set throughout the third and final practice session tomorrow and off course the qualifying. There the tyres will play a major role. Sepang is very heavy on the tyres.

Jos Verstappen; “Finally, a first place. Off course you have to take into account that I know the track reasonably well. I have had a few races here, that certainly worked to my advantage. The car felt good today, especially on new tyres. After that it became a lot harder, but I think that goes for everyone else also. It will be a very exciting and close qualifying tomorrow, because the tyres only last a few laps and then the grip levels go down very quickly. The qualifying will be very important, let’s hope we will get through there very well and are able to drive a couple of strong races here”.

Team principal Jan Lammers is also pleased when looking back on day 1 of the A1 Grand Prix at Sepang. Lammers himself came into action at Sepang during the first practice for the Pro Celebrity race with the Proton Satria Gti’s. Jan set a fifth fastest time. Just before the start of his first laps on the circuit a small accident with the fire extinguisher resulted in Lammers having to switch to the T-car.

“It’s only Friday, but as a racing driver and as a team off course you always want to be in front. So this is just very pleasing. It is good for visualising being on top of the list and being able to sit in the middle at the press conference. It’s always nice telling a success story and we basically have the same situation here as during the previous races, the only difference being that now we start from a fastest time of the day. For tomorrow it will be very delicate deciding on the tyres. In the morning you can choose for a new set and be very happy then because it will look good. Maybe then we will be one of the quickest again. For the afternoon though you are then taking a small risk. The fastest two lap times will count and if you have a problem on any of the new sets, you are basically beaten. If you have three new sets available, its more comfortable. Then you can attack full three times. For today I’m very happy. The team spirit is very good, Jos is in a good and positive mood and the food’s good here”, says Lammers who had a nice introduction to Sepang during his own free practice. “I had never been at Sepang. Off course this is purely a fun race, just enjoying. The car does not have very much power and it is not a very serious occasion, but it is true that when you get into the car you off course want to win. It’s a very nice way to get acquainted with the track, that I liked a lot. Now I know a little bit what Jos is talking about. As I said I never drove here before, but it is a very nice track”.

Press release
A1 Team Netherlands

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