Team France have edged ahead of Brazil in the championship standings of the A1 Grand Prix championship, after Alexandre Premat made the most of a good start to stay ahead of their South American rivals who finished second, while Switzerland stayed in close contact to claim the final podium place.

As ever the start was very fraught, with a three-way battle towards the first corner, a tussle that France won ahead of Brazil and Switzerland. From here on in the trio sped away from the rest of the pack, to finish some 13 seconds ahead of Holland, Czech Republic and home favourites Portugal.

While all drivers made it round the first corner, the second bend proved the end of the road for Australia, Pakistan and Mexico, with Will Davison, Adam Khan and Salvador Duran ending their race in the gravel trap.

Having qualified in a disappointing tenth place, Robbie Kerr was climbing back through the field in the Team Great Britain entry, only to be hit by Team Ireland's Ralph Firman giving him a terminal puncture, while a broken wing meant Firman was in the pits and out of the race too.

Premat was untroubled though on the way to France's third consecutive victory, claiming that the 'Powerboost' aided his plight significantly. "It was a very good race, I used the PowerBoost quite a lot. In the first corner I passed Nelson, I went up the inside and braked very late, and the car was great. I hope to do just as well in the second race."

"The PowerBoost button is really good. If you are close to the car in front, it helps you overtake. It's a great idea. I hope to win both races today, as Nelson did at Brands Hatch and Nicolas did at EuroSpeedway."

Nelson Piquet Jr. meanwhile was disappointed that his poor start was enough to stop him from taking another victory. "The start was quite messy to be honest, the pace car stayed in front for quite a long time, I didn't know what was happening. It moved at the last moment and Alex just came out from nowhere."

"I had to give him space as he braked really late into the corner, I have to say he had a very strong race. We have to go and improve now and make a few changes for the next race."

Third placed Neel Jani of A1 Team Switzerland added, "That start wasn't too bad, I was alongside Nelson, and I passed him half way through the corner, but I had to stay on the outside as he was very close. We are in a good position for the second race, and I'm looking forward to it."

 

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