Javier Villa drove superbly in today's Sprint Race at the Hungaroring, starting from 13 th on the grid he finished the race in a point scoring sixth place. As the lights went off Javier made a marvellous getaway from the seventh row of the grid...
Javier Villa drove superbly in today's Sprint Race at the Hungaroring, starting from 13 th on the grid he finished the race in a point scoring sixth place.
As the lights went off Javier made a marvellous getaway from the seventh row of the grid passing a number of cars into the first corner and at the end of the opening lap he was lying 8 th right on the tail of Yamamoto and just ahead of his Racing Engineering team-mate Giorgio Pantano.
Over the next few laps Javier continued to press Yamamoto very hard and so much was he trying that he ran wide at the chicane but without losing any time. On lap 5 Pantano passed Javi, who entered the main straight a little too wide as at that stage of the race he was struggling with the car balance, something that would later improve allowing him to be one of the fastest on the track for the second half of the race.
Javi now began to defend his team-mate's position from a hard-charging Zuber and over the next eight laps he gradually opened out the gap to the Piquet Sports car to about two seconds. On lap 13 Javi gained a place, moving up to 7th as Di Grassi was given a drive-through penalty for an earlier incident and he was now right on the tail of his team-mate's car and for a few laps Zuber closed the gap to less than a second but the two Racing Engineering cars pulled away again over the next few laps.
For the next ten laps Javi chased Pantano closely, never more than 0.5 seconds behind the Italian, Javi certainly seemed to be the quicker of the two Racing Engineering cars today but he had to hold position so as not to compromises his team-mate's chances in the Championship. Lap 22 saw Javi run wide at the chicane, once again without loss of time but on lap 25 he got very close to Pantano's gearbox and was forced to run off the track to avoid contact. In an instant Zuber had closed right in and was looking for a way past but Javi kept his head and refused to be rattled.
Lap 26 saw Javi move up to sixth as the third-placed Maldonado retired and Javi showed just how quickly he was running by pulling away easily from Zuber and closing right back in on Pantano who had been over a second ahead. The final lap saw Javi sitting right behind Pantano again and as the chequered flag came out Javi finished sixth to add another point to his score, something that didn't look possible at the start of the race. It was a reward that was a bit less than that deserved by the young Spaniard, but the race situation prevented him from showing his full potential especially in the second half and not allowing him to get to fourth position that was within his reach, as shown by his lap times.
Javier Villa's own words:
"I had a good race, without problems and with a well balanced car, it was a bit slow at the beginning but then it was getting better and better. I started well and was soon fighting ahead, then I was behind Giorgio but I wasn't allowed to pass him and that prevented me from getting to a very likely fourth place and fastest lap as our pace was very good. I understand the reason for Giorgio, as he's fighting for the championship, but, on the other hand, we have had a lot of problems so far, and not through our fault, and today it was all going well I couldn't show what I was capable of. I hope something like that doesn't happen again."