It was a long, hot race today for the Racing Engineering drivers as both Javier Villa and Marcos Martinez battled hard to make their way through the field from their back of the grid starting positions. Both drivers took advantage of a ...
It was a long, hot race today for the Racing Engineering drivers as both Javier Villa and Marcos Martinez battled hard to make their way through the field from their back of the grid starting positions.
Both drivers took advantage of a Safety Car incident when Conway spun on the opening lap to make their mandatory pitstops. Resuming towards the back of the field both Javier and Marcos looked to try and gain some places by taking advantage of the overtaking opportunities offered by the Istanbul Park circuit. Lap 6 saw Javi in 16th place and Marcos 19th but Javi lost a couple of places on the following lap when a wheel in the off-line dust saw the Racing Engineering Dallara half spin. Refusing to let this incident deter him Javi was soon gaining places again and by lap 11 he was 16th and involved in a battle with Senna ahead and Risatti just behind whilst Marcos was up to 18th.
Two laps later and Javi was closing in on the battling group comprising Tung, Tahinci, Senna and Petrov. Lap 15 and Javi was right with them and on more than one occasion Javi found himself running three abreast with Petrov and Tahinci. On lap 16 Javi gained a place when he passed the FMS car of Tahinci and he now began to close in on Petrov, the Russian running in 13th place with Javi 14th and Marcos now up to 16th.
On lap 25 Javi's pressure on Petrov paid off as the Russian locked a brake, running wide and letting the Racing Engineering driver through. A retirement amongst the leaders saw Javi move up to 13th and Marcos 15th on lap 27 but the laps were fast running out and although Javi closed to within three tenths of Rodriguez at the finish he had to settle for 12th with his team mate one place behind in 13th.
Both drivers produced excellent drives on a day when many drivers were spinning off and making contact with each other. The Racing Engineering team provided them with competitive, reliable cars and Javi showed what might have been if he hadn't had his practice problems whilst Marcos showed he is quickly coming to terms with GP2 racing.
Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon (team principal): "Marcos did fabulously for his first race, he did what he was supposed to do and this allowed him to finish the race in a good 13th position. Sadly Javi wasn't able to really work on the set up of his car on Friday due to not having been able to do a lot of laps. Losing free practice due to a problem with the gearbox has put us in a difficult situation; it obviously didn't help too much withtoday's race. Nevertheless hehas been able once more to make up a lot of positions. Let's hope for tomorrow."
Javier Villa (driver car 14): "I had a good start and was able to take advantage of some incidents during the opening laps and also during the safety car period. Like many others I went in for my pit stop under the safety car, but lost some positions during the pit stop. I was behind some slower drivers and when I tried to overtake, I went a bit too wide on the outside and spun. From that moment on I was just recovering positions. My car was a lot towards the end of the race than it had been at the beginning as I was lacking track time to set it up on Friday. During the race I changed some things and now we have the information needed to really push in tomorrow's sprint race."
Marcos Martinez (driver car 15): "This was actually a race to just get experience in this car as I don't yet know how the car reacts and changes its performance during thelong race. However I have been able to get into a good and consistent rhythm and was able to finish in 13th position. I think this is a good place to start from tomorrow."