Coloni GP2 Feature race review


Stefano Coletti and Scuderia Coloni grabbed a good top ten finish in an eventful GP2 Feature Race in Valencia: the driver from Monaco took the checkered flag in 10th place, while Fabio Onidi ended the race in P15.The first race of the Spanish weekend marked a new record, as the Safety-Car was deployed three times due to different accidents on track from lap 13 on. With such a disrupted second half of the race for the drivers it was nearly impossible to unleash their pace, and the only real chances for an overtaking move were the three restarts.It was a pity because at the race start Coletti was quick off the line and immediately made up two places, despite a contact that damaged the nose and the front wing of his car. From then on he did put up a good fight with Dillmann for P10 until lap 7, when Stefano was among the first drivers to pit.Despite the car being unbalanced due to the front damage, after the tyre change the Monegasque driver was quick enough to challenge for the top ten, actually passing Nasr for P10 at the restart after the first Safety-Car period. The second Safety-Car was then deployed nearly immediately with no changes in the running order, while the third one proved to be a major disappointment for Coletti: the Safety-Car came on track just in front of Stefano, actually splitting the group in two parts: while the front pack was allowed to go, Coletti and the drivers behind were forced to line-up behind the SC and lost an impressive 23” before the mistake was addressed. This allowed Calado, who still had to pit, to make his tyre change and exit the pits right in front of Coletti. Anyway Stefano clinched another top ten finish, a good result considering that he was starting from P13.Fabio Onidi also had an eventful race: he first boasted a very good start that brought him from P16 to 13th place, also managing to avoid a car that spun in front of him. From then on Fabio drove a very consistent race: he made his tyre change on lap 10 and after that he managed carefully all the restarts, trying to make the most of any overtaking chance but also taking care of the drivers behind him. At the last restart he passed Leal for P12, and then managed tyre wear in the last two laps to finish in P15.

Paolo Coloni: “It was a very strange race, we never had three Safety-Cars in such a short time before, so I believe it was a really stressful race for our drivers. They coped with it in the best possible way: Stefano had a great start and managed to keep a good pace even if some front wing damage had completely ruined the balance of his car, while Fabio showed again that he’s really cool-minded. Despite being a rookie he was flawless in all the three restarts, and even managed to make up one place in the last one. Now we’ll work hard to clinch a better result in tomorrow’s Sprint race.”

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