In a Sprint Race made very difficult by the weather conditions Javier Villa finished in 10th place at Magny Cours today. It had rained shortly before the start of the race and there were dark clouds covering the French circuit as the cars lined up...
In a Sprint Race made very difficult by the weather conditions Javier Villa finished in 10th place at Magny Cours today. It had rained shortly before the start of the race and there were dark clouds covering the French circuit as the cars lined up on the grid, there was much indecision as to whether to fit wet or dry tyres and although the majority opted for wets several drivers nearer the back of the grid, including Javier in 14th place, opted for slicks.
The field made a clean start but Javier was delayed by a car in front being slow away and coupled with trying to warm his slicks up on the damp track he was back in 19th position at the end of the first lap. Javier then proceeded to try and gain as many places as possible without going too fast on the very slippery track and by lap 8 he was up to 10th as several cars ahead of the young Spaniard pitted to change to slicks and others had spins.
Lap 13 saw Javi loose a place to Hanley but a lap later he was back to 10th as he re-passed the British driver. An idea of how difficult the conditions were could be seen when Javi went wide at one corner and immediately lost two places to Kobayashi and Zuber on lap 18.
Javi continued to push as hard as he could over the closing laps of the race, setting the third fastest lap of the race as he battled hard with Kobayashi. Problems for a couple of drivers further up the order saw Javi take the chequered flag in 10th place just a second behind Kobayashi after 28 very hard laps, not as high as he would have wished but a good result in very difficult circumstances.
Javier Villa own words: "Today was quite a difficult race. Despite the fact it was damp we went for slicks and we were expecting it would dry up in four or five laps but it took a bit longer, especially the first two sectors which were quite wet while the third sector was drier. In the closing stages I could finally push and we got the third fastest lap. We'd have been a bit faster with a setup more suited for the wet but I don't think it would have made a big difference anyway. At least it was quite a fun race!"