Crosstown traffic Adam Carroll proved that all of the hard work put in by the Racing Engineering mechanics and engineers at the recent test in Paul Ricard had paid off by claiming the fastest time in this morning's free practice session, but ...
Adam Carroll proved that all of the hard work put in by the Racing Engineering mechanics and engineers at the recent test in Paul Ricard had paid off by claiming the fastest time in this morning's free practice session, but unfortunately traffic on his first flying lap in qualifying probably cost the team a front row start for tomorrow's race one at Magny Cours.
With conditions at their best on the opening laps of the session because of the Formula One rubber on track, Adam pushed hard in the scorching conditions to maximise his opportunities, but a wayward Clivio Piccione ran off track before returning just in front of the Ulsterman, who lost more than two tenths trying to avoid him.
Further back Javier Villa was in the unusual position of having raced at the track before the weekend, and put his experience to good use in free practice. Unfortunately he made a mistake at the second chicane in qualifying on his first lap, jumping the kerb and losing a lot of time in the process. Despite the problems Adam lines up in sixth place tomorrow, a little over three tenths behind poleman Jose Maria Lopez, while Javi will start from 22nd.
Team principal Alfonso de Orleans Borbon was phlegmatic after the session, stating: Qualifying was not bad, but we probably expected a bit better; maybe pole for Adam. Unfortunately all the traffic he had probably had something to do with that, but Adam said the car felt good, so he should be okay for tomorrow's race. Javi probably didn't feel totally comfortable with the car, because it's completely different to what he is used to, but we'll start the race tomorrow and see how it goes. The boys did a fantastic job, as usual, and I'm sure the cars will be good for the race."
Adam Carroll was calm after his torrid session, noting: Qualifying was actually pretty good, because my first lap was much better than where I ended up: Piccione came off through the second chicane and then came back further down, stayed in middle of the track, and I lost a bit more than two tenths because I had to take him on the inside. It wouldn't have been quite pole, but it would have been better than sixth: probably second or third. I think another podium would be good for tomorrow; I just hope to get a good start and stay up there."
Javier Villa was sanguine after his problems, saying: The qualifying I think showed we had a better car than before, because I came out on the first set and was one tenth in the first sector and then four tenths behind pole position in the second sector, but then on the entry to the second chicane I jumped the kerb and went oooops!' That first lap is good because there is more grip from the Formula One cars, and the track goes away after that but I kept pushing. It will be a little difficult in the race because after six laps the car was a bit nervous, so after forty laps it will be a lot worse! But at least I can push, because I know the car and the circuit."