Points leaders Germany enjoyed a solid start to the weekend in Australia, with Christian Vietoris and Nico Hulkenberg both making light of a lack of experience at Eastern Creek to post front-running times in Friday practice.

Vietoris was contesting the 'rookie session' for the second time after making his debut in New Zealand a fortnight ago and finished seventh in the first part of the session. In the second part of the session, he improved to second position in the course of twelve laps, only to be beaten by A1 Team USA's Jonathan Summerton in the dying seconds of the session.

However, the 17 year-old was happy with his performance.

"For the first time, I had to get used to the car in the rain," he said after a session that started wet before eventually drying up. "It was definitely a big step to drive the powerful 520hp A1GP car in wet conditions. We gradually improved the set-up during both sessions. Basically, there were two different racing lines in the rain.

"The Eastern Creek circuit is very demanding, with lots of fast corners and a flowing rhythm. I once more really enjoyed working with A1 Team Germany and the outfit of David Sears which runs the car."

In the afternoon session Nico H?lkenberg returned to the car to complete 21 laps, using a single set of slick tyres and setting the third fastest time.

"Most of the other drivers knew the track either from last year or from the rookie session," the 19-year-old said. "I had to get used to it first, but the peak performance of the tyres is only available in the first couple of laps. I reached my personal best time in lap four when I was a bit more familiar with the circuit.

"The first corner of the track is pretty demanding as it is very bumpy. The degradation of the tyres throughout the session was considerable. We have still some work to do, but I'm confident."

 

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