Asia: Bahrain: Javier Villa race two report

An excellent performance in today's Sprint Race at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain saw Javier Villa finish in 5th place after starting from ninth on the grid. As the red lights went off Javi made a stunning start from the 5th row passing cars...

An excellent performance in today's Sprint Race at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain saw Javier Villa finish in 5th place after starting from ninth on the grid.

As the red lights went off Javi made a stunning start from the 5th row passing cars around the outside and as the cars entered the first corner the Super Nova driver was up to second place but he was forced to run slightly wide to avoid contact with other cars and as field exited the corner Javi slotted into 4th place. At the end of the first lap Javi was still in 4th place and running right behind the ART car of Hulkenberg and lying just ahead of Rodriguez in the Piquet Sport car. Over the next few laps a tense battle began to develop between the cars of Valsecchi, Hulkenberg, Javier, Rodriguez and D'Ambrosio with only a few tenths between each car.

By lap 8 things were still very close with Javi less than a second behind Hulkenberg and 0.7 seconds ahead of Rodriguez with all the cars very closely matched. Hulkenberg managed to pull away slightly from Javi over the next 6 laps as the young Spaniard concentrated on keeping Rodriguez at bay as a very tight three car battle developed as D'Ambrosio was now challenging Rodriguez very hard. D'Ambrosio soon found a way past Rodriguez and was now applying the pressure to Javi who was concentrating on not making any mistakes.

On lap 18 as the two cars braked at the end of the pit straight Javi momentarily locked a brake and immediately D'Ambrosio moved to the outside drawing alongside the Super Nova car and for the next two corners the two men were locked in a wheel to wheel battle but with D'Ambrosio on the better line he was able to take the place demoting Javi to fifth.

Javi now found himself under attack from yesterday's Feature Race winner Kobayashi but for the remaining 5 laps Javi refused to give ground and at the chequered flag he took fifth place less than two seconds behind the 4th placed Hulkenberg and 0.6 seconds ahead of Kobayashi.

Javier is now lying 5th in the GP2 Asia series with 12 points but a good result in the next round, the night race at Qatar on February 13th and 14th, could see him challenging for second in the standings.

Javier Villa's own words: "I started very well from ninth position and at the end of the straight line I was second, though I out-braked myself a little bit and leaving the corner I was fourth. At the end I finished fifth and was very happy with the car. Every day I feel more comfortable with it, today we were only lacking a bit under braking, there were the two/three tenths that were being lost but, even then, we did good lap times.

Throughout the weekend we have lacked a little luck, as yesterday when we lost places in the pitstop after starting ahead, but we are running fast. In the championship there are in very few points from the second one to the seventh one and we see that it is possible to fight for the podium in each race so I'm already looking forward to the next one."

-credit: javiervilla.com

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Javier Villa