A1 Team Switzerland mixed youth with experience in the pre-season test at Silverstone ahead of the second A1 Grand Prix series, with Neel Jani being joined by Marcel Fassler and Sebastien Buemi in the car.

Covering 92 laps between them, unsurprisingly it was Neel Jani, who helped Swizterland to the runners-up spot in last season's championship, who emerged as the faster of the trio with a time of 1min 11.383secs, the 13th best time of the day.

However, he was less than three tenths quicker than 18-year-old Buemi, the Formula Three Euro Series driver out pacing experienced former DTM star Fassler, who finished with a time a second off Jani.

For Jani, it was a return to a car he had not driven since Mexico, with the 23-year-old having only stepped out of his role as the Scuderia Toro Rosso test driver the day before when he completed duties with the team at Monza. Indeed, he admitted it was to adjust again.

"I only ran late this afternoon and completed 17 laps only but I posted the fastest time for the team with 1.11.383 two laps before the end of my session. It feels strange for me not to have been driving this car since Mexico last year, but it all came back to me very quickly.

"I came straight from the Monza F1 test, and I could really see the difference between the two machines. At first I was braking too late here still thinking that I was driving an F1 car! I even had a bit of a problem and went wide on the grass. I can't wait until tomorrow to get some more miles under my belt."

Buemi meanwhile was pleased with his competitiveness, particularly as it was his first time in the car and also his first time driving at Silverstone. With that in mind, he was content with being the fifth fastest rookie.

"It felt really strange to be in such a powerful car for me," Buemi, who now moved onto Zandvoort at the latest round of the F3 Euro Series, said. "But you adapt quickly, even though it was also my first time driving at Silverstone. It was a good start for a rookie like me to be fifth quickest in the morning. I really like some of these corners - especially the fast 'Bridge' corner which is a really technical challenge."

Fassler however found his day something of a trial, largely because his experience in recent years has been limited to driving in the DTM series, while he has also become a successful sportscar driver in the Le Mans Series recently. As a result, he has not raced in single-seaters since 2001, something that restricted him to a relatively disappointing time.

"I had a really good day although it's been about five years since I last drove a single seater. Nevertheless I spent my time at the wheel getting accustomed to a lot of new information including driving style and tyre behaviour. I'm ready to build on that tomorrow."

 

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