It was a Feature Race full of incident today at Monza with Safety Car periods, cars leaving the track and banging wheels as the drivers battled their low-downforce settings as well as each other. Emerging through all of ...
It was a Feature Race full of incident today at Monza with Safety Car periods, cars leaving the track and banging wheels as the drivers battled their low-downforce settings as well as each other. Emerging through all of this excitement was Racing Engineering driver Javier Villa who kept a cool head and took advantage of every opportunity to move up from 17th on the grid to finish an excellent 6th at the chequered flag.
Javier made a good start but was lucky to avoid any damage as several cars spun in front of him at the first chicane on the opening lap, the Safety Car was immediately deployed and Javi made his mandatory stop as soon as the pits opened after two laps. Javi resumed in a group of cars and on lap 5 he was in 17th place just behind Zuber and ahead of Lapierre. Over the next few laps the young Spaniard got used to his car in race conditions and by lap 13 he was in 15th behind Glock and leading Zuber. Lap 14 saw another Safety Car period and as the race began again Javi was lying 13th and challenging Tung for 12th.
Lap 18 saw another stroke of luck for Javi as Soucek ran very wide on the gravel and as he resumed the track he just missed the Racing Engineering car and made solid contact with the chasing Zuber. The Safety Car was again called into action for three laps with Javi now in a promising 11th behind Niemela and ahead of Buemi. He quickly gained some more places as Tung made an error at one of the chicanes and he overtook Niemela. By lap 22 the Repsol/Telefonica car was lying 8th and chasing Senna for 7th, there was a moment's panic on the following lap as he missed the chicane but he was able to hold his position. Javi was soon on the tail of the battling Senna and Chandook and now in 7th place as a car ahead retired. A slowing di Grassi put Javi up to 6th and over the closing laps he stayed within a few tenths of Chandook whilst pulling away from Buemi who had briefly closed in on his tail.
So following his excellent drive Javi will start third on the grid for tomorrow's Sprint Race.
For Marco Martinez it was a race to forget, 1st gear broke on the grid and although the team tried to fix the problem it was impossible and he was out on the spot.
Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon (team principal): "I'm very happy for Javi after Friday's problems, it was an amazing recovery, driven superbly with a cool head. It's very disappointing for Marcos after a very good Qualifying on Friday. It's very upsetting to have a gearbox problem that is beyond our control. The team did a great job and all their hard work was not rewarded due to the mechanical problems and they now face more work than planned."
Javier Villa (driver car 14): "I made a good start and was running 9th but some cars in front made contact and I lost some place trying to avoid them. I took advantage of the Safety Car to make my pitstop. I lost some positions behind the second Safety Car deployment when Tung braked heavily in front of me and two other drivers took advantage. I continued to push to the end and I finished 6th in a hard race, I'm hoping for a good race tomorrow."
Marcos Martinez (driver car 15): " I wasn't able to start due to a mechanical failure in the gearbox stopped the car on the grid. I will be starting last tomorrow."