GP2

Magny-Cours: Javier Villa qualifying report

A day of huge contrasts for Javi Villa at Magny Cours, after being very quick in the free practice session, scoring the third fastest time despite doing just a handful of laps, an off on his third lap ended up with the Spaniard's Dallara hitting...

A day of huge contrasts for Javi Villa at Magny Cours, after being very quick in the free practice session, scoring the third fastest time despite doing just a handful of laps, an off on his third lap ended up with the Spaniard's Dallara hitting the tyre wall at the second corner of the track. This accident would seriously impact his performance in the qualifying session.

Some great work by the Racing Engineering mechanics meant the car was fixed in time for the half hour session when the grid was decided. It all was very tight given the damage suffered to the car so, realistically, it wasn't possible to revert it back to the perfect state it had been in the morning, so Javi was forced to settle for a low 24th position that doesn't show up his true pace on the French track.

Javi had started the free practice in quite spectacular fashion, almost immediately setting a laptime that would end up being third fastest of the whole session, a time he did without really pushing to the limit. Sadly, starting the next lap of Magny Cours, the rear end of his Dallara went slightly out shape and even though Javi managed to correct the slide he couldn't avoid going off track so despite all his attempts to come back to the tarmac he ended up against the tyre wall at the end of the gravel trap. The car was quite badly damaged and from then on there started a race against the clock by the Racing Engineering mechanics to, at least, allow him to run in qualifying even if not under optimum conditions. The car was finally ready just in time but it was not possible to set it up as perfectly as it was in the morning so Javi couldn't replicate his excellent free practice laptimes, achieving just 24th position on the grid that means his weekend is already quite a big mountain to climb.

Nevertheless the Spaniard is still quite confident of his chances as in the few laps he could complete this morning he felt very confident and was running quite fast so he hopes to be able to recover as many places as possible in Saturday's feature race. Even if he's conscious of how difficult it will be, Javi will give his best trying to get close to the point scoring positions on a track he really likes and where he feels capable of being as fast or even faster than anybody else, something that should allow him to do quite an spectacular recovery race tomorrow.

Javier Villa's own words:

"We started very well and in just two laps in free practice I scored a time that would end up being third fastest, and I wasn't really pushing hard. But on the next lap I had that off and it made things difficult. The car was quite badly damaged and I thought I would be impossible to have it ready, but the mechanics did some great work and I was able to do the qualifying. But it all was quite tight and the car wasn't perfect so while the others were improving half a second I was one and half second slower than in the morning. Anyway I think I am fast as I shown in morning practice, then I was really comfortable with the car and with very good feelings so for tomorrow we are trying to get the car back to how it was this morning and try to gain as many positions as possible. It's a long race, here is possible to pass and it's a track I really like so, even if it will be difficult to get in the points I will be trying to do it."

-credit: jv

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Javier Villa
Teams Racing Engineering