GP2

Magny-Cours: Javier Villa race one report

It was a superb race from Javier Villa that saw him scoring two points and getting a front row start for tomorrow after finishing 7th in the GP2 feature race at Magny Cours today. Villa made a spectacular recovery from a lowly position following a...

It was a superb race from Javier Villa that saw him scoring two points and getting a front row start for tomorrow after finishing 7th in the GP2 feature race at Magny Cours today. Villa made a spectacular recovery from a lowly position following a pit stop incident and showed great pace pulling off some really good overtaking moves and he was able to move up into a points scoring position, finishing the race just on the tail of Petrov and Zaugg, who finished fifth and sixth.

The race started in the worst possible fashion for Javi and his team. The Spaniard was starting from 13th position but the chaotic first lap, with saw a huge accident for his new team mate Ernesto Viso, who was luckily uninjured, brought out the safety car and the red flag. All the cars went straight to the pits for the mandatory tyre change but there was bad luck for Javi when both DAMS cars arrived at the same time with Lapierre's car being serviced and Nakajima waiting behind and blocking Javi's pit exit, which meant a loss of several positions for the Spaniard.

The race restarted nearly an hour later with Villa 18th and with nearly all the drivers having made their pitstops there was no way of recovering places through strategy, it has to be done directly on the track. The opening laps saw Javier in the middle of a fierce group comprising Hirate, Soucek, Rodríguez, Conway and Tahinci. After a few exploratory laps, Javi soon passed Soucek on lap 15 and immediately started to pull away from the group and getting closer to Hirate and Bakkerud. Just as he was about to catch them they came together and Javi went through recovering two more places.

Villa's pace was getting better and better and soon he was right behind Yamamoto and Borja García fighting for tenth position. On lap 23 Villa was all over the Japanese driver and three laps later he stormed past him on the entry to the Adelaide hairpin and he was now eleventh.

Two laps more and Villa was tenth after passing Borja García, and continuing on his stunning recovery drive he was now getting closer to Negrao and Zaugg, eight and ninth with ten laps still to go. Contact between both the cars ahead left the Brazilian spinning and almost allowed Javi to pass Zaugg, although a the South African fought hard to maintain his position forcing Javi to bide his time.

The remaining laps saw a fierce battle between Zaugg and Villa for eighth place and Sunday's pole position. Suddenly Villa was in eighth as Lapierre who had been running in sixth spun out.

But Javi's recovery wasn't over yet and both he and Zaugg, both cars seemingly glued together, gained a position at Maldonado's expense with just 4 laps to go, leaving Villa in seventh place. This was his final position when the chequered flag came out, which gave him points for the third time this season and which will allow him to start tomorrow's race from the front row of the grid.

In this fashion Villa fulfilled his targets for today's race: push as much as possible from the beginning and try to get in the points to have a good starting position on Sunday. With the two points scored today, Javier Villa has already got 8 this season and confirms his ever improving form that means he's already one of the fastest drivers of the F1 feeder series despite still being just 18 and the youngest driver of them all.

Javier Villa's own words: "We had a good start but doing the pit stop during the safety car period we lost something like 8 positions because both DAMS cars were in at the same moment and blocked our pit exit. Once the race restarted, the first laps were difficult as the car was moving a lot at the rear but after a few laps more I started to push, setting good lap times and recovering positions. I'd have run faster but some cars I was catching were slower and hold me up. Tomorrow I am starting second and the key will be to make a good start and try to arrive in front at the first corner. If I can do that I'd then push at my own pace and to beat me the other guys will have to be really fast."

-credit: www.javiervilla.com or

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Borja Garcia , Javier Villa , Ernesto Viso
Teams DAMS