Javier Villa obtained his second best result of the year at Hockenheim by finishing 11th the feature race of the GP2 series, held on Saturday afternoon at the German track. Villa started from 22nd position on the grid and had a good ...
Javier Villa obtained his second best result of the year at Hockenheim by finishing 11th the feature race of the GP2 series, held on Saturday afternoon at the German track.
Villa started from 22nd position on the grid and had a good getaway, avoiding the problems on the left side of the grid when two of the cars placed there stalled. Javier decided to take the right-hand side of the straight, braked quite late at the first corner and so managed to gain several places.
In just two laps, the Spaniard was already up to 15th after climbing seven places from his starting spot. From there on, Villa was keeping up the pace of the midfield group in which he was involved, following closely his fellow countrymen Porteiro and Hernandez while keeping at bay the rest of his rivals behind. A lock up at the hairpin flatspotted Villa's front tyres, making it more difficult for him to stay on the pace on the following laps. Employing the strategy of going for a long first stint, Villa was as high as 8th, staying in front of the current leader of the series, Britain's Lewis Hamilton, for a couple of laps, Hamilton had returned to the track just behind Villa after stopping for fresh rubber.
Villa finally made his mandatory pit stop at the mid race point and when back on the track he was in 12th place, having got ahead of Porteiro during the stop. The second half of the race was even better then the first one for the young Racing Engineering driver, consistently setting good times, especially once past a group of backmakers that held him up for a while.
Eventually, Villa crossed the line in 11th which, as well as being his second best result of the year after his 9th place at the Nurburgring, gives him an interesting spot on the sixth row of the grid for the Sunday sprint race. If everything works as well as it did today, Villa could fight for a top ten finish to complete a good weekend at the German track.
Javier Villa's own words: "I had a good start and in the first laps I was running well in the midfield group. Then I locked up my brakes at the hairpin and that flatspotted the front tyres causing a bad vibration and making the front end unstable.
After changing tyres and once I got past a group of backmakers, I could finally start to set some pretty good times, always around 1'26. Actually my race pace during the last laps was better than most of the other drivers.
Today the car worked quite well and for tomorrow we are trying to get it better still, and to avoid trouble at the start in order to fight in the top half of the field."