Drivers experience chicanery mayhem

The new chicane at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez certainly caught out its fair share of drivers today. The chicane has been added for this season’s A1GP event prior to the final Peraltada corner, in a bid to improve safety and to provide an extra overtaking opportunity in Sunday’s races.

However, it caught out a fair number of drivers in practice today, who outbraked themselves and chose to overshoot the chicane altogether, taking to the escape road instead before rejoining the track.

The chicane was cut a total of 17 times over the course of the day, and in the majority of cases, the lap times set were deleted from the official records as they were the personal best for the respective drivers.

Drivers were warned in their official briefing this morning that if any advantage was gained by cutting the chicane, then a penalty was likely to be awarded.

A1 Team USA’s Jonathan Summerton, who scored his best ever A1GP result on the alternative version of the circuit last season, said the new chicane is very tough to drive.

‘I managed to stay on track because I wasn’t braking too late, but it is a tough complex,’ Summerton said. ‘For me it’s the bumps. It’s hard to keep the steering wheel straight and it just bounces and jumps out of your hands.

‘It’s a little too tight, especially because of the concrete patches around that area, which means it is really bumpy and is hard to get traction out of the corner.’

With so many times being deleted today, teams now know that there will be no leniency come qualifying and the races if the chicane is cut.

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