Brazil will start on the fourth row of the grid for the fifth round of the A1GP series at Sepang after Nelson Piquet qualified eighth in difficult conditions in Malaysia.

The qualifying session started in dry conditions with the team electing to send Piquet out on old tyres for the opening 15 minutes when he set the eighth fastest time despite a brake problem. On a new set of dry tyres for the second session, Piquet looked set for a good lap time until half way round the lap when the rain started to fall which left the Brazilian unable to improve on his position.

Although conditions meant times weren't going to be improved after the second session, Piquet still went out in both the third and fourth sessions, unlike many other drivers, to get as much experience with the car in the wet as possible.

"It didn't go as planned today," Piquet admitted. "I chose to go out in the first session on old tyres because it looked like the rain would hold out, and then we had some brake problems so I was down in eighth. We sorted it out for the second session and had new tyres, but we just went out a bit too late because the rain started on our lap and there was nothing we could do.

"So we start from eighth tomorrow, but it is forecast to rain so you never know what can happen. I like driving in the rain, and if I can get a good start and stay out of any mess, I could get a good result."

Team principal Emerson Fittipaldi admitted that losing out to the conditions was 'one of those things' and said he would be prepared for whatever race day throws up.

"Sometimes in motorsport this is what happens," he said. "You can make a decision that will pay off one time but not another and that is what happened to us today because the rain suddenly came. It's like Brazil here, when the rain comes it comes quickly. If it rains in the race we know what to do which is why we sent Nelson out in the wet sessions.

"I think tomorrow there is more than a sixty per cent chance of rain so we have to be prepared. It is possible for the rain to come on really quickly and then for it to dry out again just as quickly, so we have to be ready for every possibility."

 

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