Seventeen year-old Graham Rahal will start from sixteenth place in his first-ever A1 Grand Prix driving for Team Lebanon in Mexico.

Rahal adapted to the new car well and ended his first practice session on the Friday with the twelfth fastest time, ahead of the likes of former F1 driver, Ralph Firman. The second session was not so good, with Rahal managing only the 19th fastest time, but the practice session on Saturday in Mexico saw Rahal back up to twelfth fastest.

Qualifying, with its four flying lap format, is a challenge to even the most seasoned of racers, but Rahal fared well with an eventual sixteenth fastest aggregate time.

"It's an interesting qualifying system and I like it, but having the knowledge of how much the new tyres give you is something you need," said Rahal. "You can see in my lap times - in the last segment when I knew how much better they were, I was able to maximise them, to a whole new level. I've learnt this now and for Laguna qualifying hopefully we can make another step forward."

Racing manager for the squad, Martin Stone was impressed by the performance. "We're very pleased with Graham's performance so far," said Stone. "He's shown that he is capable of running on the pace, and has very quickly adapted to the A1 car, which is more powerful than any he has driven previously and has the paddle shift gear selector which is new to him.

"He has learned quickly and gelled with the A1 Team Lebanon engineers and crew; he already looks at home with the car and the team. Tomorrow is another big test for him, but I'm confident he'll rise to the challenge and try his best for A1 Team Lebanon."

 

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