Jos Verstappen managed to salvage two points for A1 Grand Prix Team Netherlands in Dubai on Sunday even though he struggled to make the top 20 in qualifying.

At the end of the weekend, the sixth in series history, two typically tenacious performances could have actually yielded more for the former Benetton, Simtek, Stewart and Arrows Formula One driver.

A storming rolling start for the 15-lap feature race at the sprawling Dubai Autodrome saw Verstappen gain more than half a dozen places on the opening lap before becoming locked in battle with Team Malaysia's Alex Yoong over the final point scoring position. Yoong would prove to be impassable forcing Verstappen to settle for eleventh overall, less than a second away from a precious championship point for his home nation.

Despite missing out on a point, Verstappen was far better placed for a strong run in the feature race, where he would start from the inside of the sixth row. Another solid start saw the Dutchman move up several positions and was actually running inside the top six when he made his mandatory pit stop.

It was during his pit stop that Verstappen's day began to unravel, as a stall cost him valuable time before the series confirmed that he had also exceeded the pit lane speed limit.

The resulting penalty dropped Verstappen from fourth to 14th and while a spirited fight back saw him finally claim ninth place at the finish, the disappointment of missing out on a possible podium finish meant Verstappen did not comment afterwards.

Instead, team boss Jan Lammers reflected on a difficult, but nail biting weekend.

"Stalling the engine during the pit stop and the drive through has just ruined a very good chance on a podium finish," said the Racing for Holland boss. "If the engine had not stalled we could have been in front of South Africa. As far as the team's race pace is concerned it again looked fantastic and Jos drove great races today.

"I'm still very happy with the way things are going. Not with the result, of course that's disappointing for me. But I'd rather finish ninth in this fantastic event, than win a race that is very low profile. The atmosphere among the guests is just great; it almost looked like the Soccer World Cup. I'm very pleased with A1 and it's developments".

As the A1 Series stops for its Christmas Break, Holland will go into the second half of the season, which starts in Indonesia on January 15th, eighth in the championship with 34 points.

 

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