Round six of the A1 Grand Prix series will see the Championship return to the country where it all began back in 2004, Dubai. In March 2004, the launch of A1 Grand Prix coincided with the official opening of the Dubai Autodrome. Halfway through the inaugural year it’s fitting that the brand new circuit is the host for round six.
For A1 Team Netherlands, which is currently joint sixth in the Championship, both drivers will see action this weekend. Jeroen Bleekemolen will go out in two extra test sessions on Friday morning, shaking down the second Zytek engine. Bleekemolen, who knows the track from his race with Spyker in the FIA GT a fortnight ago, will also do his best in collecting as much data as possible on the track on which only a few drivers have driven before.
Jeroen Bleekemolen; “Off course, I am very pleased that I can drive the A1 car again. In the beginning the track will be very slippery, there is a lot of sand on the track. This I noticed when I drove here two weeks ago. The first 30 minutes you can’t really do much here because grip is that bad. But I’m here to drive, so off course I will do my best to end as high up as possible and to find out as much as possible about the track and the car for the rest of the weekend. Testing the new engine is quite easy, you just have to do one or two installation laps. After that you can go all out, which should be no problem for the engine. The track itself is quite ok, not extremely spectacular. The biggest problem throughout the weekend will be sand”.
For Jos Verstappen the Dubai Autodrome again is a completely new track. After arriving on the track for the first time, Verstappen walked a lap along the circuit to get a first impression.
Jos Verstappen; “There are a few nice corners here. I think that overtaking can be a bit more difficult here. How big a problem the sand on the track will be during the day is a bit dependant on the wind directions and force, but from what I saw it will remain an issue throughout the weekend. But we are not planning to adapt the set up of the car because of this, you have to adapt to the conditions as a driver”.
A1 Team Netherlands Seat Holder Jan Lammers is hoping that the progression the team again showed at Sepang can be continued here. A1 Team Netherlands will be working hard in helping Jos get better of the grid, through practice and possible technical adjustments.
Jan Lammers “For all of us off course it’s very nice and special to race in the backyard of the A1 Founder, Sheikh Maktoum. It’s the home race for A1. Off course our job is to continue our progression now that we have found the speed in the car. We had some bad luck in Malaysia with the start, but as far as times are concerned we are close to the top of the field. Our first test, on a track which is still undergoing big developments, will be tomorrow morning”.
The Dubai Autodrome & Business Park is the first fully integrated motorsport complex in the Middle East region. The fully FIA sanctioned track has a length of 5.39 kilometers. The track, which is just over one and a half years old is situated just outside the centre of Dubai.
A1 Team Netherlands