Although Salvador Duran was unable to finish the feature race in Beijing, Al Team Mexico have moved to the head of the A1GP standings after the third round of the season in the Chinese capital.

Having earned a place on the front row of the grid through his practice time when qualifying was cancelled, Duran took second in the sprint race, which saw little overtaking as the drivers didn't want to risk losing a strong grid slot for the feature race.

Having posted the fastest lap of the race during the sprint race ? in the short amount of time not spent behind the Safety Car ? Duran was hopeful of fighting Jeroen Bleekemolen for victory in the feature race, but a gearbox issue would prove to be his undoing and force him to retire.

However, a similar problem for German Nico Hulkenberg later in the race meant he was unable to score the points needed to go back ahead of Mexico in the standings, with the South Americans now leading the way going into the next meeting in Malaysia.

"On the first race I ran well,? Duran said. ?I was conservative because I knew that it was going to be very hard to pass. It was a matter of being intelligent to finish the race while holding my position, to achieve a podium.

?For the feature race I knew that I had to do the same, but it was also necessary to put more pressure on the front to try to win. I did it until the second gear broke. In spite of this, I was able to continue for a few laps in second place, but the gearbox was not working well and I've scratched the wall a little. Two laps later, I had no gears down; maybe some pieces of the broken gear damaged the other gears. The team did a fantastic job, we just had a failure and this is something that it was out of our control.

"Racing on this street circuit was a hard experience. It is more different than racing on road courses. Here there was a lot of pressure; you had to go at the limit. The circuit was very bumpy and that damages the car. Overall, each track is particular in certain senses, but in a road course there is more top speed and the grip is better.?

 

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