The gusts of wind and the low temperatures registered today at Silverstone for round 5 of the GP2 series made for a cold day that for Racing Engineering wasn't warmed by the results of its two drivers. Neither man could get as high on the...
The gusts of wind and the low temperatures registered today at Silverstone for round 5 of the GP2 series made for a cold day that for Racing Engineering wasn't warmed by the results of its two drivers. Neither man could get as high on the timesheets as the team was hoping for during today's qualifying session that decided tomorrow's starting grid.
In fact the 19th position achieved by the GP2 rookie Filipe Albuquerque wasn't a bad result, all things considered, as the young Portuguese was having, at Silverstone, his first chance to drive a GP2 car. His chassis was also totally new and only completed by the Racing Engineering mechanics the day before as all that was reusable from the tub written off last weekend in France were the dampers.
Additionally Filipe wasn't able to run at all in free practice alter being caught out by the very low grip on the cold track offered by the hard Bridgestone tyres all the teams are using this weekend. Without any previous testing, Filipe did a good job in qualifying, beginning to get used to the car and starting to set it up to his liking so that he has a real chance to improve his position tomorrow.
Javier Villa will also have his work cut out tomorrow to progress through the field although this is something he has shown himself more than capable of achieving. Today the setup of his Dallara was never up to the job and the slight margin left by the hard Bridgestones, which for the two first laps are unsuitable to setting quick laptimes, meant that his work has been mainly focused on the race setup, something on which the team will also work overnight in order to give Javi the best car possible for the race. Once again the team will be looking to him to impress with one of his trademark recoveries, this time starting from the eleventh row of the grid.
Alfonso D'Orleans (team principal): "Let's say that it wasn't really a great day. Filipe's result is more or less what we were hoping for; he didn't do at all badly for his first time with the car and after not running in the first session following a spin, so he had to learn everything in qualifying. As far as Javi is concerned we didn't find the best possible setup so we have to keep working on it and he will have to perform another of his great recovery races and once again show what's he's capable of. Above all I'd like to comment on the great effort by the whole team to build a totally new car; everybody has been doing an impressive job, starting last Saturday night which allowed them to finish the car just in time, yesterday night. I'm not sure if other teams could do such good work!"
Javier Villa (driver car 14): " With the hard tyres we are using on this track the first two laps are very difficult although that's the same for everybody. We still have to change several things in the car for tomorrow and starting 21st we'll also need to carefully prepare our race strategy - and to run really fast to recover positions!"
Filipe Albuquerque (driver car 15): "I didn't know either the car or the track and I spun in free practice as I wasn't used to how much these tyres slide when they are cold, so I had to start working on setup in qualifying. On every lap I was going faster and on the last one I caught some traffic so I was trying to create some space with the cars in front but the session was over and I didn't have any more track time. It could have been a bit better as with just one more tenth I'd have been in the middle of the grid so I think that I can go well in the race."