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More power, more pace


Ferrari’s new A1GP car faster and more powerful

A1GP test driver, Danny Watts, says the new Ferrari-powered car has noticeably more power than last season’s car. His comment came after he drove the car at the Silverstone racetrack in Britain last week.

The new black A1GP liveried car ran alongside the yellow test car as the first real comparisons could be seen on a circuit where the previous A1GP cars had clocked up extensive testing miles.

Watts is the first driver to have tested both the old and new A1GP cars.

“The new aero package helps driving through the high speed sections of the track even quicker,” he said. “The carbon brakes work extremely well, meaning you can brake a lot later than you ever could before.

“It’s much more like a thoroughbred racing car. Overall, the performance is a step up in every department. I thoroughly enjoyed driving the car.”

FIA GT Champion, Thomas Biagi, drove all three days, and Jonny Kane was also in the car on Wednesday.

The programme for Silverstone also included testing the new PowerBoost system.

The Ferrari V8 engine has a power output around 600bhp when drivers hit the PowerBoost button, giving approximately an extra 60 horsepower overall compared to last season.

“The extra 60bhp you get with the push-to-pass will open up more overtaking opportunities at every circuit A1GP visits this season, which should make racing even more exciting,” Watts says.

Meanwhile, the start of the 2008/2009 championship has been delayed following a delay in the build schedule of the new chassis. The first round is now at Zandvoort, Holland, on October 4-5.

It had been scheduled to start at Mugello, Italy, in September but the Italian round has been rescheduled for later in the season.

A1GP says the series set itself a tight schedule with less than 11 months to design, build and test the new car and make sure all the teams received identical machinery. Any delays in the schedule were always going to impact on the ability to deliver to all the teams.

“It was always going to be an optimistic programme but we were confident we could achieve it,” says series CEO, Pete da Silva.

“This in no way reflects on the work undertaken by the technical team and our partners, as it was due to circumstances beyond their control.” 

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