A1GP commentator John Watson believes there could be high drama during the opening laps of this weekend's inaugural races around the Zhuhai International Circuit, due to the track's extremely narrow first corner.

The five-time grand prix winner was the first person to take to the circuit in an A1GP car this weekend, and afterwards was keen to highlight the potential for incidents at the first turn due to its tightness and funnelling nature.

"The first corner on the first lap will be a problem," the Northern Irishman asserted. "It's about 400 to 500m after the start-line, and cars will already be going to up to 220-230 km/h at that corner.

"There could be action, especially on the rolling start in the sprint race when the field will be more compact. Everybody will do the natural thing and funnel to the inside, to try and dive down the inside and get the inside line for the turn.

"There is an option for the driver to go the long way around on the outside, but the only proviso is that if you want to do that you need to be aware the car below you is going to slam up to the top and sideswipe you.

"Drivers will have to be on their toes, be aware and watch for the guys around them. The guy on the inside isn't going to know about the guy on the outside. He's looking in his mirror and thinking, 'who is coming inside me?' All of a sudden he moves up to the outside and he could hit him. It's an open opportunity for first corner noses to be knocked off."

Despite his reservations about the layout, though, the 61-year-old is anticipating a good deal of excitement come the two races.

"That's what we are here to see," he underlined. "We want to be entertained! I don't want to see cars being knocked out, but it will be a busy corner on the first lap, particularly in the sprint race. There will be opportunities to pass, and the circuit should provide some great races."

 

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