A clash in the first race and an engine misfire in the second prevented Brazil from adding to their Beijing points tally at a treacherous Sepang, bringing an end to what has been a tough weekend for the South American team.

Having struggled for pace in qualifying when driver Raphael Matos failed to string together two strong laps, hopes in the team were high for the sprint race that they would be able to overcome 15th on the grid with a drive into a more respectable starting position for the second race.

Instead, he was involved in a clash with Italy on the first lap, forcing him to pit for repairs on the way to what would be a disappointing 19th place finish at the chequered flag, a result that also put them on the back foot for the feature race.

The deluge of rain that coated the circuit gave hope that it would help shake up the results, but remarkably only one car would fail to see the chequered flag at the end of the 28 laps. Up to that point though, Matos was struggling with a misfire that would eventually see him cross the line a disappointing 18th place.

"We had a problem with the car the whole time in the feature race and were in a bad position from having to start at the back after this morning," he said. "The first five laps with the rain were really bad, and after that it started to dry a little bit which meant that at least we could see more. I don't think the car was balanced in the race and, with the engine problem, I don't think there was anything I could have done about our position."

"I am disappointed about the whole weekend," added team principal Emerson Fittipaldi. "We were looking good on Friday and then not so good in qualifying and today everything has gone wrong. We had a bad start to the day with the crash this morning, which put us at the back, and then this afternoon we had the race in the wet.

"Not only did we have a technical problem with the engine misfiring for the whole race but Raphael has not had a chance to test in these kinds of conditions, so it was a difficult day."

 

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