Javier Villa will start the Hockenheim feature race from the 11th row of the grid after setting the 22nd fastest time in the qualifying session held on Friday afternoon which turned out to be one of the tightest and incident packed of the season...
Javier Villa will start the Hockenheim feature race from the 11th row of the grid after setting the 22nd fastest time in the qualifying session held on Friday afternoon which turned out to be one of the tightest and incident packed of the season so far. Villa's time was less than one and a half seconds shy of the poletime scored by ex-F1 driver Gimmi Bruni, and just five tenths shy of the time of his experienced teammate Adam Carroll who will start from 12th position.
The very close times were the norm on both the free and qualifying sessions. In the first Villa and his team concentrated on the car setup and the car behavior was improved from that in last race at Magny Cours. After that first half hour on the Hockenheim track, Villa set the 23rd fastest time, less than two seconds slower than the current GP2 series leader, Lewis Hamilton, who was topping the time list.
On the qualifying session, all drivers went out almost simultaneously to take advantage of the rubber left by the F1 cars which so dramatically improves the grip. The problem in such situations is that it becomes very easy to make mistakes and that was exactly was happened with several spins and off road trips which meant yellow flags. Eventually Villa decided to get back to the pits after not being able to find a clean lap among all these incidents.
After fitting fresh rubber Villa went back to the track again and immediately noticed that the car handling was better. That allowed him to improve his time by almost two seconds from the free practice times, his 1:24:060 was enough to qualify in 22nd position for the long race (40 laps) due tomorrow.
Javier Villa own words:
"There was a yellow flag so I came in and changed tyres and the I went much better and faster on the second set. Hockenheim is such a different circuit with the long straights and there are some tricky corners to look out for which caught out several drivers. Tomorrow I start near the back but I feel the car has improved from the last round in France and as always, I will push and hope to finish mid-field."