Javier Villa set a time in the Hungaroring GP2 series' qualifying good enough to start from the tenth row for tomorrow's race. The big surprise of the first day of racing at the Hungarian track was the weather, when everybody was expecting a hot...
Javier Villa set a time in the Hungaroring GP2 series' qualifying good enough to start from the tenth row for tomorrow's race.
The big surprise of the first day of racing at the Hungarian track was the weather, when everybody was expecting a hot and sunny weekend it was rain that Javier Villa and his fellow competitors found early this morning when arriving at the circuit. Although the rain stopped before the free practice session began, the track was still damp and the rain tyres were the more sensible option. With the track drying up quickly it was nevertheless easy to get caught out and there were several spins and crashes, including one by current series leader Lewis Hamilton. Javier Villa was also surprised by the sudden grip changes, spinning on his second lap and being unable to go on.
The qualifying session was held on a dry track though so Villa had to face it without any previous laps in such conditions. That way all the setup work had to be done while looking for the best possible laptime in order to qualify as high as possible. Javier and his team made the best use of the 30 minutes at their disposal to do both things and, despite the heavy traffic on track, the Asturian-born driver was able to improve his times as the session progressed, finally setting the 20th best time. Furthermore, this time was achieved on a lap where Villa found traffic in the last two sectors so the Racing Engineering driver is confident regarding his chances of lapping the twisty Hungarian track faster during the two weekend races.
Another positive factor for Villa this weekend is the car setup, with a big improvement today regarding rear tyre degradation, the main issue so far for Javi's car in previous races. The only problems today came from the front brakes although this should be sorted to allow the car to run perfectly in the races. Given how difficult it is to overtake at the Hungaroring choosing the best moment to make the mandatory pitstop will be a crucial part of the race strategy in tomorrow's race, where Villa hopes to complete the 42 laps and fight as hard as possible to improve his position.
Javier Villa's own words:
"Today the car ran better and I set my time with a lot traffic so I reckon I can be faster. The laps I did in qualifying were the only ones in dry conditions as the free practice was on a damp track and an early spin meant I almost didn't run. In the second session I only had a few braking issues, the front brakes were overheating, something that should be fixed for tomorrow."