Having gotten off the mark last time out in Beijing, A1 Team Brazil will find repeating their feat in the fourth round of A1 Grand Prix somewhat harder after Raphael Matos could only managed 15th on the grid at Sepang.

Matos' debut around the Malaysian circuit, hopes were high the Champ Car Atlantic front runner would be able to match his top ten pace in practice. However, while his ideal sector times would have seen him do just that, his best two laps were eventually only good enough for a place on the eighth row.

Experiencing the aggregate qualifying format for the first time after his debut attempt in China was canned, Matos blamed the fact he is not quite as confident in the car as he would like, even if he did admit he enjoyed the session.

"I liked the qualifying format, it's not to difficult. But I think that there is an advantage if you have a real confidence in your equipment and set-up. It helps if you know you have a fantastic car.

"Today the car was really difficult, especially in the last two segments. I think the track was cooler on the first run but I made a mistake and then on the last two runs the car was not good and I couldn't push any harder. We have a lot of work to do for tomorrow."

Team principal Emerson Fittipaldi was equally frustrated with the sudden drop off in pace, claiming changes in the track conditions overnight left them unprepared.

"I'm disappointed with today's result. Yesterday we were much faster and we haven't changed the car so maybe the track has changed. This is Raphael's first time doing the A1 qualifying format, and although he was doing some very good sector times on his laps, unfortunately he didn't do three good sectors on the same lap. We'll have to make a lot of changes to the car for the races tomorrow."



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