A1 Team Netherlands and Jos Verstappen have made very good progress on the second day of the A1 Grand Prix at Estoril. In the morning Jos Verstappen set the fourth fastest time during the third and final free practice session at the sunny Circuito Estoril. The team had made some changes on the car overnight and this paid off straight away. Verstappen started the session on wet weather tyres, before switching to slicks a few minutes before the end of practice. At the end he was some seven tenths behind the Czech Republic and only two tenths slower than Great Britain and Brazil.
Jan Lammers; “Fortunately we were on course again this morning. We made some changes last night and discussed our approach with Jos and Graham. It’s a combination of some good changes on the car last night and systematically working throughout the session. First we scrubbed our wet weather tyres and at the end we tried the slicks. The best qualifying we had so far was tenth at the Lausitzring, so for now realistically we aim on improving our qualifying position. And wether that’s ninth, eighth or seventh, we shall see. We think that we can be around sixth or seventh, that’s our goal for this afternoon. We will have to see if we can succeed there, because we know that if we can start round sixth place, we are competing for the podium and that is what we want.”
In qualifying A1 Team Netherlands went one better than sixth. Even a starting rain shower did not stop Jos Verstappen from setting his fastest lap of the weekend so far. With a aggregate time of 3’03.210 ( 1’31.551 and 1’31.659) A1 Team Netherlands will start the Sprint race tomorrow from a fifth grid position, the best result in qualifying for the team so far. Now, the team will work hard to capitalize on this and convert their best grid position into the best possible finish during both the Sprint and the Feature race on Sunday.
Jos Verstappen; “This is just what we needed. Off course I’m very happy with a fifth grid position. Anyway, we are moving up bit by bit. The lap times were quite decent. We used two sets of new tyres and got the maximum result. At the end it started raining a bit, I think this cost me a few tenths of a second. But I’m more then pleased with the result and this is, I think, a big boost for the whole team”.
Jan Lammers; “Pleased with the result. We still are some seven tenths behind the top, but if you consider this then the fifth place is the place is very good. Finally we are where we can be. Now we need a decent start of the race. Perhaps you can only gain one place with that, but then you’re directly into fourth. So for now this a good start, but we have to be careful that we are going to be completely satisfied with fifth. We must not forget that it’s all about winning. Fifth is super for now and a good basis to work on in future. But this is the grid position and we have to convert this to the next step and that’s finishing like this or even better”.
A1 Team Netherlands