The double-header of the GP2 series at Monaco finished for Javier Villa with thirteen position in the sprint race held on Saturday afternoon. Starting from the 24th place on the grid, after finishing 14th yesterday but being relegated 10...
The double-header of the GP2 series at Monaco finished for Javier Villa with thirteen position in the sprint race held on Saturday afternoon.
Starting from the 24th place on the grid, after finishing 14th yesterday but being relegated 10 positions for a penalty following contact with Conway in the last lap of the feature race, Javi had no chance other than staying on the track and taking advantage of the usual Monaco incidents to recover as many positions as possible.
As expected the problems started in the first few meters: if yesterday's get-away was unusually clean for today the narrow Sainte Devote caught several victims, on one side Chandhok and Maldonado came together and on the other Bakkerud hit Zuber, flying over his car in the braking area of the first corner. Javi managed to gain several positions while avoiding both incidents that forced the deployment of the safety car, and was 17th when the cars lined up at the end of the lap.
The race restarted three laps later with Villa controlling the two Campos Racing drivers, Petrov and Hanley, that were following him closely, and there were no more changes until lap nine when his teammate at Racing Engineering, Giorgio Pantano, made contact with Durango's Marcello Puglisi entering the chicane. Javi gained two more places while behind him Valerio, in the second Durango car went out at Mirabeau leaving the car in the middle of the track which necessitated the use of the Safety Car again.
On lap 12 the Safety Car left the track and Javi was 15th, moving to 14th when Kobayashi withdraw and 13th after Valles has to take a drive through penalty for missing the first corner apex at the start. From then on, over the remaining nine laps, there were no more changes and Villa took the chequered flag in 13th position after a race where he avoided all the incidents and run at a very good pace, scoring the fourth fastest lap just a few tenths from the fastest. A very positive outcome for the Spaniard to end with positive feelings about a weekend that was really difficult for him and his team due to the race circumstances but with good laptimes achieved throughout the three days.
Javier Villa's own words:
"Today went very well, I started 24 and finished 13 although that's not important, the important thing is that we were lapping at a few tenths off the fastest lap. We knew I'd be fast but there was something we had to see and we did it today. The beginning of the season hasn't gone as well as expected but there are still 14 races to go, now we have got tests at Paul Ricard and I think things are going well now. We have to be back in the top five at the testing and get a boost for the remaining races. Now we go to tracks like Spa, Germany and France, where we will go better."