Rafael Villagómez was pleased to overcome his early weekend struggles in Jeddah to come from the back of the grid to score his first Formula 2 points, finishing ninth in the Feature Race.

Villagómez’s weekend started in difficult fashion when he crashed into the barrier at Turn 15 in Thursday’s Free Practice session.

This meant the Van Amersfoort Racing driver could not take part in Qualifying, leaving him starting at the back of the grid in both the Sprint and Feature Races.

READ MORE: Kush Maini’s Jeddah Weekend in his Words

But after placing 14th in Friday’s Sprint dash, the Mexican rookie came through the field to finish ninth in the Feature event, something he did not think was possible when he watched from the sidelines in Qualifying.

“I’m really happy,” said a beaming Villagómez. “After the Thursday we had it was quite tricky, not doing Qualifying. To have crashed in Free Practice, if you asked me on Thursday, I would have never thought that we would have finished in P9.”

Asked how he navigated the field from last to ninth, Villagómez said: “I started from behind and from yesterday there were many things from the driving side that I was not fully up to speed with.

Villagómez was happy to score his first Formula 2 points in Jeddah
Villagómez was happy to score his first Formula 2 points in Jeddah

“So basically, what I did was push as hard as I could through the whole lap and then manage the tyres a bit when needed.

“I think the team did a mega job with the car, pitstops were good, so yeah I think we were just consistent and able to make up the positions.”

He later added: “After not doing Qualifying I was feeling pretty bad, pretty down and watching the cars during Qualifying was a bit more painful, but I just had to reset.

READ MORE: Cordeel ‘sad’ to miss out on a maiden podium on the last lap of the Jeddah Feature Race

“I knew that in F2 a lot of things are possible. So, I just reset, tried to learn as much from Enzo (Fittipaldi), who has experience from this track and took the street race as preparation for the future races.”

Learning from his teammate could have been more useful than first thought given that Fittipaldi produced an outstanding performance to win the Feature Race by over seven seconds.

This follows up a Sprint Race in which the Brazilian ended up third. However, Villagómez says his teammate’s success does not add any pressure on his shoulders and that if he works hard, he could be the one standing on the rostrum soon.

Villagómez was forced to come through the field in both the Sprint and Feature Races
Villagómez was forced to come through the field in both the Sprint and Feature Races

“I think there is no pressure,” said Villagómez. “Obviously I want to do well, and I want to win, that's why I am here. But it's just an indication that the team is working well.

“I think together we have found a really good balance between working well and also respecting each other which is very important. So, I am just happy to see him on the podium to be honest and I know that if I work hard my time will come.”

FEATURE RACE: Fittipaldi makes stunning pass for maiden Feature victory

Villagómez will be hoping to continue that good working balance will continue at Round 3 in Melbourne. Having raced there previously in Formula 3 last season, the Mexican racer is excited to return to Albert Park.

“Obviously, I am very excited for Melbourne. I went there last year with F3 and it's a mega track. What I can take from this weekend is obviously everything is very important, but it doesn't matter what happens anything can happen in this Championship which is the exciting thing of course.”