Saturday at Eastern Creek in the A1 Grand Prix of Nations proved to be a frustrating one for Dutch driver Jos Verstappen driving for Team Netherlands with grip being a particular problem at the Australian circuit.

Verstappen had looked promising in Friday's running, quickly getting a handle of the 3.93km anti-clockwise circuit. Saturday, encompassing the crucial qualifying sessions, didn't go quite as well, with the former F1 driver setting an aggregate time placing him in eighth on the grid for the Sprint race.

"This is just the maximum that we can get out of the car right now," explains Jos. "We have to struggle quite a bit in order to drive into the low 1min 19s lap times, this is all we can manage. This is the result, we cannot go any faster. The car just has not got enough grip.

"We were fourth on Friday, but I think that was also because I adapt to new circuits quite easily. Then we have got things under control quite quickly, but we do not improve our set up any further from there and that's is a bit disappointing. In turn 9 you see that we don't have enough grip. When you see that France is setting an aggregate of 2min 37secs for the two laps and we are at 2min 38.7secs, we are 1.7 seconds behind in two laps time and that's way too much. I would not know how we can solve this right now. We're trying our best, but this is all we are able to do at the moment."

Team Principal Jan Lammers had expected the team to qualify in the top six, but Lammers also had to conclude that the eighth grid position was the maximum result for A1 Team Netherlands.

"During qualifying we did not have any major problems, but we were just off the pace," said Lammers. "Off course the competition is very though, but I thought that we at least would be able to end up in the top six. There just has to be much more potential, but we were unable to convert that into a result during qualifying. I hope that we will be able to do that in the race.

"For sure that will not be easy as overtaking is very difficult here. With the power boost you can do something, but to finish on the podium will require a major effort."

Lammers reckons there's still work to do getting the A1 GP car and Verstappen to work as they should together. "The art of trimming a car off course is being able to find a set up that matches the driving style of the driver," he explains. "But it also works the other way around. As a driver you will have to find a way to handle the car, which suits the car best. Those things are not in harmony as of yet. With the well known graphs and lap charts and through talking we as a team have to manage that. That's the game and that's what it's all about. We are hoping that we will pull this off for the races, as we have done every race up to now."

 

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