A1 Grand Prix

A1 Grand Prix (A1GP) was a 'single make' open wheel car auto racing series. It was different from most racing series. The drivers represented their nation as opposed to themselves or a team. The series was ratified by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). Races were held in the traditional Formula One off-season, winter the northern hemisphere.[1] The seeries was founded by Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum of Dubai in 2003.[2] Tony Teixeira took control of the series in 2006, leading it to liquidation by 2009.[3]

CategorySingle seaters
Country or regionInternational
First season2005/06
Last season2010
Drivers35
Teams21
ConstructorsFerrari
Engine suppliersFerrari
Last Teams' championRepublic of Ireland A1 Team Ireland (2009/08)

HistoryEdit

The concept was founded by Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum of Dubai in 2003.[2] Brian Menell and Tony Teixeira were appointed to run the sale of franchises. Thirty franchises were made available.

Twenty-five of the franchises were purchased for the 2005–06 A1 Grand Prix season. It began on 25 September 2005. The first race was the A1 Grand Prix of Nations Great Britain at the Brands Hatch circuit in the United Kingdom. The first season was planned for 12 rounds. Eash round was two races in a weekend. The Curitiba, Brazil in January 2006 was cancelled. Nelson Piquet, Jr. won the inaugural race of the series for A1 Team Brazil. A1 Team France were crowned the first-ever A1 Grand Prix world champions with 172 points. Switzerland were second with 121 points and A1 Team Great Britain third with 97 points.[4]

The 2006–07 season started on 1 October 2006 at Circuit Park Zandvoort, and the last race at Brands Hatch on 29 April 2007. Team Germany won it with 128 points, 35 points lead ahead of Team New Zealand.

The 2008–09 season saw the new Powered by Ferrari A1GP car.

The opening of the 2009-10 season was canceled five days before practice was due to begin. Due to the series' financial problems, none of the scheduled races take place.[5][6] The cars and series infrastructure were tied up in London. No comment was coming from A1GP. More races were cancelled. An announcement made on 5 November 2009 stating that the races in China and Malaysia would not be taking place.[7] The last race that was to be held in the season was the Dutch round. That race was change to a Superleague Formula race. This ended the hopes the season would start and also put the future of the series in doubt.

ChampionsEdit

Season Champion Second Third
2005–06   France
(Alexandre Premat • Nicolas Lapierre)
  Switzerland
(Neel Jani • Giorgio Mondini)
  Great Britain
(Robbie Kerr • Darren Manning)
2006–07   Germany
(Nico Hülkenberg • Christian Vietoris)
  New Zealand
(Matt Halliday • Jonny Reid)
  Great Britain
(Darren Manning • Robbie Kerr • Oliver Jarvis)
2007–08   Switzerland
(Neel Jani)
  New Zealand
(Jonny Reid)
  Great Britain
(Oliver Jarvis • Robbie Kerr)
2008–09   Ireland
(Adam Carroll)
  Switzerland
(Neel Jani)
  Portugal
(Filipe Albuquerque)
2009–10 season cancelled

TeamsEdit

Each A1 Grand Prix team represented a nation. Drivers must have the same nationality as the team they drove for. The team car should also represent the country. The team owner, principal and crew, however, did not need to have the same nationality as the team.

Twenty-nine nations started one race in A1GP

 
A world map showing the distribution of A1 GP teams in the last season (red) and who also took part in one or more of the earlier seasons (blue)
Participating countries
Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania

  South Africa

  Brazil
  Canada
  Mexico
  USA

  China
  India
  Indonesia
  Japan
  Korea
  Lebanon
  Malaysia
  Pakistan
  Singapore

  Austria
  Czech Republic
  France
  Germany
  Great Britain
  Greece
  Ireland
  Italy
  Monaco
  Netherlands
  Portugal
  Russia
  Switzerland

  Australia
  New Zealand

bold represents an active team in the 2008–09 season

DriversEdit

 
Mexico, New Zealand and Malaysia competing during the first-ever race weekend at 2005–06 A1 Grand Prix of Nations, Great Britain

Notable driversEdit

Drivers who have also raced in Formula One
Drivers who have also raced in the IndyCar Series


Race weekendEdit

Points and prize money for 2008–09
Pos. Points Prize
Sprint Feature Sprint Feature
1 10 15 $100,000 $200,000
2 8 12 $70,000 $130,000
3 6 10 $50,000 $100,000
4 5 8 $35,000 $75,000
5 4 6 $30,000 $50,000
6 3 5 $20,000 $40,000
7 2 4 $15,000 $25,000
8 1 3 $10,000 $20,000
9 2 $7,000 $13,000
10 1 $3,000 $7,000
Fast lap 1 1
Only the best 9 race weekends count[8]

A1 Grands Prix of Nations took place over a three-day period, from Friday to Sunday. A two-hour qualifying session took place on Saturday afternoon, and two races took place on Sunday. The driver selected for qualifying or for one of the races was required to have taken part in at least one practice session.

A1 Grand Prix qualifying determined the grid lineup for Sunday's races, the Sprint Race and the Main Race. The grid for the Sprint Race was set based on the cars' fastest time from either the first or the second session. The grid for the Feature Race was based on sessions three and four.

The Sprint Race was held in the early afternoon. The race began from a rolling start, and it was a maximum of 24 minutes plus one additional lap.[9] Each team had to make one mandatory pit stop.[9]

The Feature Race was held mid-afternoon. The race began from a standing start, and was approximately 180 kilometres. The maximum time limit of 69 minutes plus one lap. Teams had to make two mandatory pit stops during the Feature Race.

During the pit stop, all four tires on the car had to be changed. Fuel was not allowed to be added to the car.

Drivers did not score points for themselves. The points earned went their national team. Teams could change drivers between rounds and still accumulate points to their score.

Points and cash prizes were awarded for the first ten places. In addition, one point was awarded to the team that set the fastest single lap time in either the Sprint or Main Race.

Chassis and enginesEdit

The A1GP formula provided a single "spec" car for each team. Each car was mechanically identical. It was designed to limit performance, reduce running costs, and prevent any one or number of teams gaining an advantage through better equipment. This provided field in which driver skill and team effort should become the primary factor for success.

The cars were based on the Formula One Ferrari F2004 chassis. They used slick tyres from Michelin. The 4.5-litre Ferrari/Maserati V8 engine produced up to 600 brake horsepower (450 kW) in PowerBoost mode.

ReferencesEdit

  1. What is A1 Grand Prix? A1GP official website
  2. 2.0 2.1 A1GP History a1gp.com
  3. "Series in doubt after liquidation?". crash.net. Crash Media Group. 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
  4. "Grand Prix results for 2005–06".
  5. "Season 5 unlikely to take place". a1.gpupdate.net. GPUpdate. 2010-01-04. Retrieved 2010-01-30.
  6. "Exciting Motor Racing Opportunity – A1 Grand Prix". go-dove.com. GoIndustry DoveBid News. 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  7. Vince Pettit (5 November 2009). "A1GP – The final nail in the coffin?". thecheckeredflag.co.uk. Retrieved 5 November 2009.
  8. "New points system for 2008/09". a1gp.com. 29 September 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2008.
  9. 9.0 9.1 a1gp.com. "Rule changes for new season". Retrieved 11 August 2008.

Other websitesEdit