GP2

Catalunya: Javier Villa race one report

It was tenth position for Javier Villa in the first race of the GP2 Series which took place during this Saturday afternoon at the Montmelo circuit. Javi was starting from 15th position on the grid and was trying to gain places on the outside at...

It was tenth position for Javier Villa in the first race of the GP2 Series which took place during this Saturday afternoon at the Montmelo circuit.

Javi was starting from 15th position on the grid and was trying to gain places on the outside at the start, but after arriving well placed at the end of the straight he was forced to run wide at turn three, losing several positions and finishing the first lap in 21st which further compromised his chances to fight for a points scoring position.

Nevertheless the Asturian-born driver was not losing heart and fought to recover positions, passing Zuber on the third lap to take 20th and overtaking Kobayashi two laps later, after outbraking the Japanese in the entry to the stadium. Villa was then 19th, closing on a very tight group comprising Hulkenberg, Razia and Panciatici, who were running together without changing their positions until the start of the mandatory pit stops to change tyres.

Javi made his pit stop on lap 12, resuming the track in 19th spot right behind Panciatici and Razia, who gave the impression of running a little slower but they were not easy to pass. After several laps pressing the Durango car Villa finally managed to pass the Frenchman and was now putting his sights on Razia. Javi was now very close to Razia when at the beginning of lap 20 Hulkenberg, who was returning to the track after his pit stop, locked up spectacularly at the end of straight just as Javier was arriving at the same point, forcing the Spaniard to leave the track to avoid contact with the German.

Hulkenberg and Villa were running faster than Razia, and both passed him a little later and from this moment Javi had finally clear track ahead to be able to really run at his natural pace. On lap 26 Javi was already 14th while closing the gap to the big group that was fighting for the fifth position, with Di Grassi clearly slower than his numerous followers but covering all the track. With so many cars grouped within a few meters contacts and mistakes were starting to happen and at the end of lap 32 Javi who continued running fast and without errors was now 9th after a multiple incident removed Di Grassi and Parente and forced the intervention of the Safety Car.

The race was resumed with just three laps to go but Javi, with the tyres already loosing grip, could not attack the 8th placed Kobayashi and he had to finally surrender to Hulkenberg's pressure, losing 9th place on the penultimate lap and crossing the finish line 10th after a really hard fought and difficult race in which the Spaniard demonstrated his good pace setting the fourth fastest lap.

Tomorrow Javier will start from the fifth row of the grid in the Sprint Race, a place from which he'll try to recover the necessary positions to score his first points at the wheel of Super Nova's Dallara.

Javier Villa's own words: "The race got difficult for me at the beginning, I started well but in the third corner I tried to go by on the outside and one of the cars ahead started moving across forcing me on to the outside line so I had to run off the track and came back 23rd. From then I had to recover positions one by one and it made me lose a lot of time in the first laps.

I stopped as soon as possible, changed the four tyres and started to push, I had a great pace, running very fast and managing to be ninth, with fifth in sight, which shows that I was going quickly setting the same times as the cars in front. At the end I could not manage to recover any more positions but I believe that the work that has been done has been good. Tomorrow I start tenth and I have the opportunity to score the first points for the championship which is the important thing now."

-credit: javiervilla.com

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Javier Villa