ABU DHABI, RACE 1: FIFTH PLACE FOR CECCON - TOP TEN FINISH FOR COLETTI
Scuderia Coloni closed the first race of the Abu Dhabi GP2 Finale with an amazing fifth place for Kevin Ceccon and a P10 finish for Stefano Coletti.
So the Italian team brought both their cars in the top ten as they already did in Qualifying, furthermore boasting a good recovery with Ceccon.The 18 year-old Italian, who was 7th on the grid, had an amazing start and managed to take P4 despite having to avoid Kral’s spinning car. In the following laps Kevin had a fair but close fight with Gutierrez, that came to an end when the Mexican was forced in the pits to change his rear wing, damaged in a collision at the start.
Ceccon kept P4 with no issues in the central part of the race, until the mandatory pit-stop. The tyre change saw Ericsson emerge from the pits just inches ahead of the Italian, who then decided to settle for a fifth place that was an amazing result, especially considering that Ceccon has contested just 4 race weekends in GP2 so far, and so he’s still a rookie.
Good race also for Stefano Coletti: the driver from Monaco had a great start, passing from P10 to P7 in just one corner, but then on the first lap his front wing was damaged in a race contact, spoiling the aero balance of the car.Stefano coped with the issue in the best possible way and despite the odds he managed to finish tenth, the same position he had clinched in yesterday’s qualifying.
Kevin Ceccon: “I’m satisfied with this 5th place, it’s a great result, but I could have done even better without having to avoid Kral, who spun in front of me. Without that I could have been even third at the end of first lap; instead, apart from losing time, I even flat-spotted my front tyres not to hit him, and this hampered me for the whole race. Anyway I had a very good start, we were really quick and this gives me high hopes for tomorrow: starting from second row anything is possible”.
Stefano Coletti: “The car really had a great potential, so I’m pretty disappointed by the outcome of the race. Unluckily, the collision during lap 1 ripped a part of of my front wing off and from then on the car lost his aero balance. I tried to compensate as much as I could, but that also led to an early tyre wear that forced me to anticipate the pit-stop, making the second part of the race really tricky. Anyway the good side of it is that we are competitive, the pace is there and tomorrow we have another race to make up for this disappointment”.
ABU DHABI, RACE 2: POINT FINISH FOR CECCON - A CONTACT PUTS COLETTI OUT OF THE RACE
Scuderia Coloni’s weekend in Abu Dhabi ended with mixed feelings after today’s Race 2: if the team can be happy for the second point finish in a row for Kevin Ceccon, who was 6th after an amazing race, on the other side there’s a huge disappointment for the crash that on the last lap put a faultless Stefano Coletti out of the race when he had just taken 5th place.The driver from Monaco, who was starting from P10, drove a great race boasting first of all a very good start that raised him to 8th place. Then, with a very consistent performance, he got himself in the condition to fight for the fifth spot with Rossi and Leimer.The two in front were battling hard and this led them to going off track on the last lap, entering the run-off area of Turn 1: Coletti made the most of it taking an outside line to pass both, but Leimer came back on track abruptly and hit Stefano’s rear right tyre, sending him into the wall and ruining a great performance with a bitter end.The team, anyway, can still be happy for another top-notch race by Kevin Ceccon: the Italian 18 year-old talent didn’t have the best possible start and closed his first lap in P13, but he made up for that mistake with an aggressive race that saw him boast a staggering recovery lap after lap.He first passed Melker on lap 1, and then he did the same at the chicane braking zone with Ricci on lap 7 and then with Berthon on lap 11, entering the top 10. A few laps later Kevin took advantage of mistakes made by Da Costa and Razia to take eight place, and then he catched the group that was fighting for the points, sticking to the tails of Rossi, Coletti and Leimer. In the last lap drama that ruined Coletti’s race Ceccon found the gaps to recover another two spots, and then he closed a masterly drive with a last turn pass on Leimer to clinch sixth place and one point.
Paolo Coloni: “Today we have different feelings: on one side we’re happy for Ceccon’s performance, on the other side we are really disappointed for what happened to Coletti.
Kevin had already taken 13 point finishes in 14 races with Auto GP, and now he also managed to get points twice in a row with GP2. We should be used to that but his confidence is growing so quickly that he still manages to surprise us, day after day. The way he raced today, making the most of every single gap to succeed in his recovery, is something you should expect from a veteran, not from a rookie. Anyway he did it and this also shows that we did a good job, because he obviously had a car that allowed that kind of performance. Concerning Stefano, we’re speechless: he was doing exactly what we were expecting from him, using his talent and racecraft to climb up the running order, and seing such an amazing drive ruined by a rival’s mistake is a real pity. I wonder how a driver can get back on track at more than 200 kph without even taking a look at who’s coming, but anyway there were no consequences for the guys, and that’s the most important thing”.
Kevin Ceccon: “If on one side I’m satisfied with my driving, on the other hand I’m really angry with myself for that start. Looking at my pace and at how the race developed at the front, I surely had a chance of winning today, and spoiling the chance to give it a try was a real pity.Anyway, I think I showed that my pace was the same as the leaders and I’m happy of my recovery, overtaking so many cars was pretty fun from inside the cockpit! Now I will try to relax a bit, because in the next days I will need all my focus to face the Toro Rosso F1 test in the best possible way”.
Stefano Coletti: “Apart from the contact that spoiled our race today, it was a fruitful weekend. Our aim was to start working together in order to arrive to the 2012 season in the best possible shape, and that’s what we did.We already found some areas to focus on in order to make the car even better, and now we have a long winter stop that will allow us to bring on that kind of development work”.