Problems with the gearbox in both Free Practice and Qualifying, prevented Javier Villa from running hard today at Monza, condemning him to a lower starting position than he had hoped for tomorrow morning's race, he will in fact start from 17th ...
Problems with the gearbox in both Free Practice and Qualifying, prevented Javier Villa from running hard today at Monza, condemning him to a lower starting position than he had hoped for tomorrow morning's race, he will in fact start from 17th place.
The malfunctioning of the gearbox of Villa's Dallara GP2 car began soon after the start of the Free Practice session. After making his first few laps without problems Javi pitted and changed tyres, on returning to the track he realised the gearbox wasn't working which curtailed his practice long before the due time, preventing him from completing his programme of setup work. At least, in the seven laps completed, Javi and his engineer developed a good idea of what was the line to follow for the best setup for qualification.
After a fast repair on the part of his mechanics, Javi returned to the track for Qualification determined to lap quickly and from the start he was happy with his car. Immediately the times began to improve and on only his second lap he improved on his morning time by over a second. However on the fourth lap Javi noticed a further problem with his gearbox. The cause was a faulty sensor that made it very difficult to change gear. In view of the short time available to work on the car driver and team decided to stay on track although Javi had to take great care in changing gear which prevented him from pushing as he would have liked and having to be satisfied with 17th fastest time which gives a spot on the ninth row of the grid for tomorrow's race.
The positive for Villa was that in the few laps in which he could run without problems his pace was good which seems to indicate the car is set up well although there is still work to do. Tomorrow Javi will be looking to make another one of his "drive's through the field" in order to reach a good position in the race which will give him a good starting spot for Sunday's race.
Javier Villa's own words:
"The first laps of Free Practice went well well but on leaving the pits after changing the tyres I had a problem with the gearbox and I wasn't able to continue running. In the Qualifying I began well and on my second lap I was already a second quicker than I had been in the morning but on the fourth lap I wasn't able to change gear properly. We decided to continue lapping to have more data to work from but I had to take care when changing gear and I couldn't push hard so in the end I will start from 17th. The team is already working to solve the problem and I hope that everything goes well tomorrow."