Neel Jani forced a smile and admitted that he was content to have made another couple of podium appearances in the A1 Grand Prix series - despite the fact that arch rival France again took two race wins in Malaysia.

The Swiss driver made the best start to the day's sprint race at Sepang, taking advantage of a brush between France and Ireland to forge ahead, leaving Alex Premat to fight his way back into second past Britain's Robbie Kerr. Once in front of the Team GB car, however, the French driver rapidly closed the gap to Jani, although it took him until the final lap to find a way through into the lead.

"I think the car had the potential to win, but Alex finally caught me on the last lap, so I am disappointed," the Swiss driver commented.

Having returned to complaining of handling problems that allowed the French car to close in and pass, Jani was returned to the feature race grid with a refettled machine that he subsequently found more to his liking. Premat clearly feared the pace of the silver Lola, as he made an aggressive move to block Jani off at the start, leaving the Swiss driver at the mercy of Kerr.

Britain and Switzerland ran second and third until lap eleven, when Jani was able to capitalise on the return of Kerr's braking problems. The pair ran side-by-side through turns one and two, but Kerr finally ran wide under braking at ten, allowing Jani to slip through on the inside. The Swiss driver was then able to trim Premat's lead, but the pursuit of victory ended with a lengthy pit-stop in which the team had trouble changing one of the car's rear wheels.

"The potential and the speed were there, but we lost some valuable time with our pit-stop, which was too long," Jani sighed, "We lost the race there, as the wheel would not come off easily. After the problem, we were really quick, and I overtook four cars to go from seventh to second, but finishing second is the same as losing to me."

 

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