Ernesto Jos? will once again start towards the rear of a GP2 Series grid, but this time had only himself to blame for ending up with 15th place at the hardest event of the season.

The Venezuelan had started the day promisingly, taking third place in the half-hour free practice session - despite not having driven the Monaco layout in anything other than a kart before this weekend - but threw away his hard work by snagging the barrier inside the first five minutes of the single qualifying session. Having set a single flying lap time, Viso hit the wall at turn one, Ste Devote, after making an error of judgement with his braking.

"I made a mistake and am very disappointed with myself," Viso, who had suffered mechanical problems during qualifying in Spain, "I was just starting my second flying lap, but left my braking too late at the first corner and struck the outside barrier. There and then, my session was over!

"I want to apologise to everyone at BCN who had provided me with a stupendous car. In free practice, we set the third best time, and were sure to be able to fight for the pole. On the only lap that I managed in qualifying, I was already half a second up on my best lap in practice...

"However, this track does not permit the slightest mistake - and I have paid for my error. Now I have to look towards the race, although this is not the best place to start on a track so tight. There are no real possibilities to overtake but, with a little luck, perhaps we can add some points."

Luck is something that has been lacking in the BCN camp so far this season, with Viso having to miss both sprint races after running into mechanical problems on the warm-up lap at both Imola and Barcelona. With some street racing experience under his belt from F3 outings in Cagliari, Macau and Korea, the Venezuelan is hoping that the home of one of the world's most famous casinos will bring him luck in the biggest lottery of the season.

"We hope that, this time, the weekend will go without problems and we can obtain a good result," Viso said before heading to Monaco, "The key at this type of track is to have a good qualifying session and not to make mistakes. On other street circuits, I have enjoyed some good results, and I hope that Monaco will be much the same."

The series organisers have concentrated on offering greater reliability for the entire field in Monaco, improving the brake ventilation systems, modifying the gearbox ratios specifically for the tightest track on the schedule, and introducing a one-off compound of Bridgestone tyres to take into account the special street surface.

"The mechanical misfortunes of Imola and Barcelona have served to make us stronger," Viso said, looking back on the problems he and team-mate Hiroki Yoshimoto have suffered so far, "Before the start of the season, we were aware of the reliability problems with the GP2 car, but we did not expect us to be so badly affected in the races. We know that, once all the elements function properly, we will be in the fight, just as we showed in the pre-season and even at Imola. It would be great to be able to break the ill-luck we have had at a track as difficult as Monaco."

Viso's qualifying exit occurred while he was holding down second place in the order, and coincided almost exactly with another incident further round the track when Nelson Piquet Jr was collected by Can Artam. Piquet was left a potential non-qualifier after his suspension was broken, and joined four others - including the luckless Yoshimoto and Barcelona race winner Jos? Mar?a L?pez - among those waiting on the word of the stewards.

 

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