There were mixed feelings for Javier Villa in his first race on Sepang's circuit, whilst the final result was disappointing, finishing nineteenth after stalling his car on the grid, his pace throughout the whole race was very good, setting the ...
There were mixed feelings for Javier Villa in his first race on Sepang's circuit, whilst the final result was disappointing, finishing nineteenth after stalling his car on the grid, his pace throughout the whole race was very good, setting the fastest lap and running consistently better times than the drivers fighting for the top positions.
Javier was starting from the third row of the grid and facing the race with high hopes after his good performance in practice. However just as the start lights went off Villa struggled with the always very sensitive manual clutch of the GP2 cars, stalling the engine and watching as all the other cars passed him while he was stopped. Immediately the car was pushed up to the pitlane, where it was started again, and the young Spaniard returned to the track even though it was now impossible to catch the leaders and make a mark in the race.
Nevertheless Javi was pushing to the maximum from the first and his race pace was superior even to that of the drivers who were fighting for the first positions. Villa set the fastest lap of the race and after the mandatory change of tyres he was back to the track just behind the second and third placed drivers Kobayashi and his Super Nova teammate, James Jakes. Although lapping faster than them, sensibly Javier chose not to interfere in their fight for the podium positions since he was one lap down.
The end of the race came with Javi crossing the finish line in nineteenth place, which will be his starting position for tomorrow's sprint. Though it will be difficult to recover sufficient places to fight for the points in such a short race, his magnificent pace of today and the fact that Sepang's circuit has several points where it is possible to overtake, could mean a good recovery race for Villa, who will push again to the maximum in search of the best possible result.
Javier Villa's own words: "It was a shame that I stalled on the grid as it is the first time that has happened to me since I was in GP2, but always you are searching for the limit and this time I went a bit too far with the clutch and ultimately the car stalled. Then, once back in the race, I set the fastest lap and in 90% of the laps I was the fastest, so I believe that surely I'd had fought for the win. So in spite of what happened I am happy, every day we are running faster. The team gives me a lot of peace and makes me feel strong and it has a big impact in becoming relaxed at every event and, as was the case here, going to a circuit that I did not know, and doing good laptimes and being fast in the race. I think that we are fulfilling our target of getting ready for the European GP2 series, which is what we wanted to do here. The team is doing great work and we must go on like that."