Neel Jani was delighted to return the 'new' Switzerland team to the top of the A1 Grand Prix podium once again in Sepang after a commanding lights-to-flag victory in the first of the weekend's two races.

Having stormed to pole position for the seventh race of the season, Jani used the particularly short ten lap race distance to keep Niko Hulkenberg at arm's length until the chequered flag, to cross the line a comfortable winner.

The second win for Switzerland since they entered A1 GP, it is also the first win for the team since they lost the backing of DAMS for this season, the leading French outfit instead choosing to concentrate on France, Mexico and South Africa this year.

"The morning sprint race was fantastic and I kept the lead from start to finish," he said. "I was so happy to be on the podium. It's a great win for our new team. It was a clean and proper race as opposed to the extraordinary circumstances in Beijing. To be back and win in a first real weekend is a great feeling.

However, despite starting the feature race from pole position, the downpour before the start of the race saw Jani struggle initially, losing the lead to Hulkenberg but holding on to second until his first pit stop.

Jani however insists his disappointing pace was due to a problem with the car, something he carried to the finish of the race by which point he was eventually passed by both Great Britain and France to end the 28 laps in fourth place.

"In the afternoon the conditions changed drastically. We started behind the safety car. After two laps I was convinced that something was not right on the car, but I did not know what. The team is investigating if it is possibly a problem with the shock absorbers.

"Of course, I am a bit disappointed to miss out on the podium in the second race, but I'm really pleased to have scored 13 points today for the team."

Scoring a solid 13-point haul, Switzerland have now moved up to ninth in the standings, with team principal Max Welti delighted to prove the team still have the pace to win without major backing.

"A very positive weekend for our new team. To score 13 points in one weekend and to know that the team can have the driver on the highest step of the podium is really essential to assess our level. We have proved that we have a winning team."

 

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