Despite both of the Racing Engineering drivers failing to finish the race there were still a number of positives to be taken from the Team's performance. The race started under threat of rain and as the lights went off there were problems on the...
Despite both of the Racing Engineering drivers failing to finish the race there were still a number of positives to be taken from the Team's performance. The race started under threat of rain and as the lights went off there were problems on the grid as many drivers had to avoid the stalled car of Zuber but luckily everybody made it into St Devote. Both of the Racing Engineering drivers made clean getaways with Javier Villa in 14th and Sergio Jimenez in 20th at the end of lap one. Although Maldonado was pulling away at the front the rest of the cars made for a tightly bunched snake of colour through the Monaco streets. For once early pit stops were not the general order of the day with cars stopping anywhere from lap 4 to lap 25.
Javier was driving sensibly but quickly and was making up positions as the cars in front began to pit, by lap 12 he was 10th, lap 16 he gained another 5 places and by lap 20 he was third 4 seconds behind a battling Senna and Zaugg. Sergio had pitted on lap 18 and resumed in a combative 16th place. Javier was leading a group of four cars but made a small error on exiting the tunnel chicane as his tyres went off; he immediately dived into the pits on the 23rd lap for his compulsory stop. He was quickly back in the race was in almost immediate trouble with some sort of problem at the rear of the car; unable to control the wayward Dallara Javier spun and hit the barrier hard.
His closely following team mate, Sergio, was lucky to be able to avoid contact! The Pace Car was called onto the track as Villa's car was pushed away. Sergio was now up to 15th which quickly became 14th and he was soon embroiled in a tough battle with Garcia and pulling away from the chasing Tung, Sergio and Garcia rapidly closed in on a dice between Hirate and Senna and when Garcia ran wide at the Loews hairpin Sergio dived to the inside, unfortunately a combination of a locking brake and a lack of space meant that he and Garcia had a gentle coming together. With both cars interlocked they were unable to continue and both drivers clambered out of their cars.
So, despite the two non-finishes, both of the Racing Engineering cars were comfortably on the pace and both drivers raced with commendable maturity on this, the most difficult of, street circuits.
Alfonso D'Orleans (team principal): I'm not very happy as we came away with no points, as I've said Monaco is a roulette where you can win or lose and we lost. Despite that the boys and the team did a very good job, Javi had driven really well until his accident, we are still looking into the cause, it might have been contact with a kerb or perhaps some debris on the track. Sergio found himself boxed in traffic for most of the race and really couldn't show his real pace. We are confident we can bounce back to form at Magny Cours and we're looking forward to the Paul Ricard test when we can refine the cars even more.
Javier Villa (driver car 14): I started 14th and made it through the first lap OK, I was pushing all the time and the car was going well but the tyres were starting to get really old by the time I made my pit stop. I came out of the pits and started to push again but there was some sort of problem at the rear of the car and I couldn't avoid spinning and hitting the barrier.
Sergio Jimenez (driver car 15): The race wasn't too bad and I had good pace from the start but I was blocked in and it is so difficult to pass. The car was great after the pit stop, I tried passing the guy in front 5 laps from the end but he closed the door on me and I was out of the race. I just need to do better in qualifying so that I am higher up the grid.