The Italian Job
Racing Engineering's race weekend at Monza has started comfortably for Adam Carroll, who claimed fourth on the grid for tomorrow's race one in a steaming hot qualifying session at the famous circuit, but there was heartbreak for teammate Javier Villa when a problem with his brakes put the Spaniard out of the session early after he spun at the Ascari complex.
There was a solid start in this morning's free practice session when Adam finished a very competitive seventh with a time within touching distance of top man Nelson Piquet Jr, while Javi went about his usual business of learning the track ahead of qualifying. The conditions were cool, and the cloud cover overhead threatened rain for qualifying, which would have made for a very tricky session.
However, the clouds soon evaporated and the track was scorching by the time qualifying began. Adam drove a solid session to finish fourth, six tenths off polesitter Piquet, while Javi's spin meant he was unable to build on a very strong start to the session: he finished twenty third.
Team principal Alfonso de Orleans Borbon noted afterwards: It was a pretty decent qualifying session: I think Adam did great, and I'm sure he would have loved to take pole, but I think the fight between Lewis and Nelsinho is pretty much the talking point this weekend. For Javi it was a bit of a pity: something happened with the braking, and we're looking into that. Adam did a good job, he should be in a position to get a podium tomorrow, and if Lewis and Nelsinho don't kill each other on the track it should be a fairly interesting race! Everyone on the team has done a good job, the car is running well, so we're just going to get ready for tomorrow."
Back in the paddock Adam Carroll stated: Qualifying was pretty good: P4, so it's not bad really. The car was good, I pushed hard and it held in there, so near the front is not a bad place to start. The track has a few wide places, and a lot of long, long straights, so hopefully tomorrow can be a good race: I'm going to try and get a podium, but there's a lot of tough competition ahead of me. We've just got to go out there tomorrow and get stuck in, and then see what happens."
A reflective Javier Villa commented: In the fastest chicane at the braking point I lost the rear and did a spin, and that was the end of qualifying for me. When I spun I was thirteenth I think, and I probably would have been about fifteenth or sixteenth, but now we need to work hard tomorrow. We have a spare set of tyres, so we'll see."