With Neel Jani having headed for Bahrain to take up his duties with the Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 team, Giorgio Mondini will attempt to keep team Switzerlands faint A1GP title hopes alive in the penultimate round of the season at Laguna Seca this weekend.

Mondini isn't required by the MF1 Racing team for this weekends F1 season opener and as a result will attempt to do the near impossible and overhaul the 32 point lead currently enjoyed by France in the championship standings.

Despite a lack of time in the car, the 25-year-old said he was feeling relaxed ahead of the weekend and would be doing all he could to try and keep the title battle alive going into the final round of the season in Shanghai.

"Representing my country in this new series is a real honour and I'm so proud that we are in an excellent second position in the championship and in with a chance of winning," he said. "I have only driven the car for a few laps in Paul Ricard this summer at the test session. But I'm sure it'll be a really interesting race and I'll be doing everything I can to keep us in with a chance of the championship.

"I've been training very hard in preparation - especially for the demands of racing on an anti-clockwise circuit. I'm focused, relaxed and fit so I am feeling confident for this weekend."

Team principal Max Welti said he was confident that Mondini would quickly be on the pace during the weekend - adding that it filled him with pride to see both the teams driver active in F1 this season.

"I would like to welcome Giorgio Mondini to the team," he said. "It's a great responsibility to represent your country and to defend your own flag as well as to discover racing in a new series on a new track. I'm sure that Giorgio will get to grips with everything very quickly and we will help him as much as possible. It should be an exciting weekend and in any case it's quite flattering that both our drivers this season - Jani and Mondini will be seen in F1 in 2006."



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