Movin' on up The pre-season promise of strong results for Racing Engineering took a large step forward at the Nurburgring when Adam Carroll set the third fastest time in practice before claiming seventh on the grid for tomorrow's first race. The...
Movin' on up
The pre-season promise of strong results for Racing Engineering took a large step forward at the Nurburgring when Adam Carroll set the third fastest time in practice before claiming seventh on the grid for tomorrow's first race. The practice session was the first indication that the team are moving forward after a slow start to the season, with Adam setting a time that was less than one tenth of a second off the top of the timesheets and teammate Javier Villa just 1.5 seconds back.
Qualifying was held in warm, clear conditions and, with the track now fully rubbered in by the F1 cars, the times tumbled. Adam was on course for a strong second place until a small mistake and heavy traffic pushed him down the grid: with 16 drivers within a second of pole, any mistakes were always going to be costly in terms of grid position. Nonetheless the team were delighted with their clear improvement over the first two rounds of the championship, with both drivers and their engineers smiling broadly as they walked upstairs in the truck after the session to get to work on their debrief and tomorrow's race strategy.
Team principal Alfonso de Orleans spoke for everyone when he said: "I'm quite happy with qualifying, and especially for this morning where we had a great third place. Seventh tomorrow is still quite good, and I think [Adam's race engineer] John Gentry did a great job on set up. Unfortunately Adam just didn't get a clear lap; I think he might not have got pole because Piquet was bloody blinding, but he could have been in the top three again. But I'm very happy, and all the boys did a very good job. Javi was very good once again: he's always learning the tracks, but I think he made a big jump ahead here from Imola, and of course this is just his third weekend. Let's see what he does in Barcelona, where he knows the circuit."
Adam Carroll supported this view, stating: Qualifying wasn't too bad, although obviously I'd have preferred to be where I was this morning on the first or second row. A lot of guys improved, and we improved a little bit too, but I don't think I quite got the best out of the lap and the tyres: the car should have been another couple of positions up. I've been looking at the data and I could see where it should have been, but I got the back end out a bit because of the traffic. It's the same for everybody, but I'm happy with the car because hopefully it'll be good for the race tomorrow."
Javier Villa was happy with his day at the office, noting: It was not so bad -- my first lap was okay, my second lap was better, so I was sixteenth and I was happy. The second outing we changed the car a little and it felt good, but then Hamilton was in front of me and he spun, so that slowed me a lot. But it was good practice, and I think the race will be better."