A1 Team Ireland and Michael Devaney found themselves a frustrated 13th on the grid for the fourth round of A1 Grand Prix at Sepang after seeing their hopes of a top ten qualifying position hit by a collision with Germany.

Indeed, Ireland come to Malaysia eager to put a difficult, and thus far pointless, start to the year behind them, but having targeted a top ten result ahead of the race, their hopes were instead damaged when Devaney was spun round by Niko Hulkenberg in the Team Germany entry.

With the wind picking up, the fastest times of the four sectors were always likely to come from the first and second sessions and although Ireland were able to repair the car enough for Devaney to set his best times in the second and third sessions, he was always going to be on the back foot compared to his rivals.

"Obviously the first run was ruined so that cost us," he conceded. "We improved the car during qualifying and I kept it the same for the last two runs, but the last lap was slower and I wasn't able to improve. We seem to be stuck outside the top ten and unable to make the big step we need to get up with the leaders."

Indeed, Devaney's thoughts were mirrored by team principal Mark Gallagher, who in turn criticised Hulkenberg for needlessly eliminating them from the first session.

"Clearly the pace is not there so in the end a mid-field qualifying slot was what we expected after practice," he said. "The incident with Germany was completely unnecessary as every driver should ensure he has a clear track for qualifying -running into the back of our car isn't the cleverest solution to traffic."



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