Javier Villa repeats his 14th place finish at Silverstone For the second day in succession Javier Villa finished 14th at Silverstone's round of the GP2 series. This now means that, with the exception of the first corner incident at Monaco that...
Javier Villa repeats his 14th place finish at Silverstone
For the second day in succession Javier Villa finished 14th at Silverstone's round of the GP2 series. This now means that, with the exception of the first corner incident at Monaco that saw his innocent retirement, Javier has finished every round in the Championship this season, thus accumulating a lot of miles at the wheel of Racing Engineering's Dallara. For Villa the Sunday sprint race was quite similar to Saturday's feature race. Javier again made a very good start, running as high as 8th in the opening corners race from his 14th position on the grid. But, especially following the safety car period, his race pace wasn't good enough to allow him to keep such a high position. The setup of his car had been improved from the day before but the driver still wasn't fully confident on Silverstone fast comers.
Villa was able to keep himself in the second group of the race, not loosing contact with a bunch of cars that were battling for tenth position. After 23 laps of the race (due to an extra formation lap the race was shortened from the initially scheduled 24 laps), Villa finished in the same 14th position as on Saturday. However in this race his laptimes were far better, improving from the 1:35:044 set on Saturday to the 1:33:357 that was his personal best lap on Sunday. An improvement of more than one and a half seconds that allowed him to battle in the middle of the field as shown by his 14th fastest lap out of the 23 competitors. Furthermore, Villa set a really quick time at the first sector that includes the spectacular corners of Copse, Maggots and Becketts and where driving skills always shine. Here Javier was just four tenths slower that the man who dominated the whole Silverstone weekend, Lewis Hamilton.
The better Sunday pace, the two very good starts and the fact of finishing the two races are the positive results of a weekend that wasn't easy for Javier Villa but that has helped him gain yet more experience.
Now GP2 gets a short break while the F1 teams go to America for the Canadian and USA grands prix. This gap will allow Villa to have some different commitments such as next weekend when he will act as the driver of the pace car in the Santo Emiliano hillclimb, a round of the Spanish Championship which is held at Langreo in the region of Asturias where the Spanish driver was born. Then it will be time for some GP2 testing again at Paul Ricard where the team will continue with setup work in order to allow Villa a chance to run in the top half of the remaining races. This target now seems achievable in view of Javier's development over the first half of the season.
Javier Villa's own words: "Today I have been lapping quicker, mainly at the beginning of the race. But then, especially after the safety car returned to the pits, I once again had similar problems as the day before, with a very nervous car that was moving around a lot on the fast corners. The best news for me has been the time set in the first sector, just four tenths slower than Hamilton. On the other two sectors we were losing far more time so we have to keep on working on the car. For this the next test session at Paul Ricard will be crucial to improve the setup and be able to fight in the first half of the field on the remaining races of the season, a target that I think is realistic given my improvement since the beginning of the season."