Friday Both the weather and mechanical woes prevented the two Racing Engineering drivers from shining as expected on the first day of the Nu rburgring GP2 meeting. To begin with a sudden storm appeared over the German track just a few minutes into...
Friday Both the weather and mechanical woes prevented the two Racing Engineering drivers from shining as expected on the first day of the Nu rburgring GP2 meeting. To begin with a sudden storm appeared over the German track just a few minutes into the free practice session, which caused the session to be red flagged for a while. This meant that the test program the team was planning to run couldn't be carried out delaying the setup work. Additionally a problem with 3rd gear in Viso's Dallara required that the gearbox had to be changed in the Dallara which limited his lappery.
The Venezuelan driver is back in action this weekend and had just enough time to show up his class, setting the 7th fastest time in the few laps he was on track before the gear failure. The qualifying session took place on a dry track but neither Villa nor Viso could do their best, their efforts hampered by yet more mechanical difficulties. For Javi once again there were fuel pump problems that prevented him from finishing higher than 15th which means he will be starting tomorrow from the inside of the 8th row of the grid. Lap times were so close that there are less than 8 tenths between Javi and the second fastest man so both driver and team are still confident of a good race tomorrow afternoon.
Things were worse for Viso as he suffered with malfunctioning gearbox electronics all through the session, having to settle for 19th after scoring a best lap time less than half a second slower than his team mate. In both cases the problems were totally out of character with the great work done once again by all the Racing Engineering mechanics throughout the day.
What makes it even more frustrating is that these troubles are beyond the team's control which prevented the sort of results expected from a team with so much potential.
Alfonso D'Orleans (team principal):"I'm not very happy with how things developed today as, once again, mechanical problems totally beyond our control stopped us from doing our job. It's something that is also happening to half the grid out there, when you depend on external suppliers and you can't touch almost anything the solution is out of our hands. In Javi's car we once again had fuel pump problems and that stopped him from running too much. The rain didn't help either but, anyway, I'm really confident that Javi will have a great race tomorrow. In Ernesto's case the 3rd gear broke in free practice, the part had totally disintegrated even if it only had one third of its due life. After fitting a new gearbox there have been electronic problems so we have been talking with the Mechachrome people about everything and we hope it will be fixed for tomorrow."
Javier Villa (driver car 14): "In free practice it started to rain after just three laps so we focused on running in the wet and we did quite well. In qualifying the track was now dry and we made a few adjustments to the car but we didn't improved very much, as we also had some fuel pump problems from the beginning. Let's hope we can improve further tomorrow."
Ernesto Viso (driver car 15): "Qualifying has been difficult and we are starting tomorrow quite a long way back on the grid. Anyway, I think we made a step forward in the car setup compared with what we had at Magny Cours even if we have to improve still further as there is some understeer and quite a lot of locking up under braking."