News of 10th April 2009

Nicolas: On the right track!

Today, A1GP France took part in free practice for the sixth round of the 2008-09 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport Championship on the International Algarve circuit in Portugal.

Nicolas Prost at the wheel of the French car set promising times in the 2 rookie sessions this morning, ending up second quickest. Overall, the track’s grip level was very poor and a strong wind upset the cars’ aerodynamic balance. It was difficult in these conditions to find the right window to set a good time.

In the first free session this afternoon the team got down to finding the right set-ups, and tried to adapt the car to the track conditions by working on the tyre pressures in particular. Nicolas finished the day in eighth place overall.

The team had a trouble-free day mechanically speaking and was able to complete its technical programme. It is analysing the data this evening to refine the car’s set-up for tomorrow’s free practice and qualifying.

Olivier Panis, Sporting Director: “The track conditions evolved a lot from the start to the finish of practice today, and lap times kept coming down. It’ll certainly be the same story tomorrow. In such condition, the essential thing is to adapt to the situation, and also to anticipate the track’s evolution over the rest of the weekend to determine the best set-up for qualifying and the race. We’ve made a good start and we’re on the pace so it’s pretty positive.”

Nicolas Prost:“The circuit’s rather special and it had very little grip this morning. All the cars were sliding around a lot and you had to drive accordingly. These conditions made the engineers’ job pretty difficult, but we were able to improve our performance throughout the day. I was only 0.5 seconds off the top three and that makes me feel confident for the rest of the weekend. We’ve still got quite a lot of work to do but we’re on the right track.”

Official press release of A1 Team France

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