Despite the return of leading driver Neel Jani for the first time this season, Team Switzerland was unable to add to its points tally in the third round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport on the streets of Beijing.

Having qualified tenth on the grid - with positions determined by a shortened practice session on Saturday - the Scuderia Toro Rosso driver showed his pace in the morning warm-up session as he posted the quickest lap time but was unable to fully utilise that pace in the sprint race - which featured a lengthy spell behind the Safety Car.

Unable to make any moves up the order due to the tight nature of the circuit, Jani had to settle for ninth place, only making up a single place due to the retirement of South African Adrian Zaugg.

However, while more people seemed prepared to fight for position in the feature race, Jani was unable to secure a strong result for the Swiss team as his brakes gave up the ghost and he was forced to retire with 46 laps still remaining.

"Despite all the problems this weekend I'm happy with my first weekend back in the A1 car," he said. "If the weekend had run under normal conditions we could have shown how competitive we really were. It's a positive to take away to the next race.

"I suddenly found that I had no brakes when I went into turn six but I did have some warning before then as I was having to brake a lot earlier for each corner than in the morning session. I realised it was going but hoped we might be able to make it, but it was too late. The brake disks got worn out during the race and are still blue. There was no time to cool on this small track and they just over-heated. I am really looking forward to the next Malaysia race and hope we can repeat the good race from last year and win this time."

Team principal Max Welti admitted it was slightly frustrating to have been unable to build on the pace displayed by Jani during the Sunday morning warm-up.

"After a very strong performance during a morning warm-up that all teams regarded as a virtual qualifying session and was added to make up for the previous problems encountered during the weekend, Neel could not capitalise on the strengths of the team," he said. "Before leaving the country, I would like to congratulate A1 GP and A1 Team China for organising the first motor racing event on the streets of Beijing and congratulate them on their approach to solving all the unexpected problems in a timely, smooth and responsible manner."

 

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