Grid positions (20) Luca Filippi 21st position (21) Alexander Rossi - 24th position Race 1 (20) Luca Filippi - 14th (21) Alexander Rossi - 6th (3 points) Friday, February 05, 2010 - Italian driver Luca Filippi and the American Alexander...
(20) Luca Filippi 21st position
(21) Alexander Rossi - 24th position
(20) Luca Filippi - 14th
(21) Alexander Rossi - 6th (3 points)
Friday, February 05, 2010 - Italian driver Luca Filippi and the American Alexander Rossi had an incredible challenge on their hands at the start of today's race. Starting respectively from 21st and 24th on the grid both finished the first race at Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi in good shape confirming team's competiveness. Luca Filippi, who had finished the first practice session fastest of all, continued to show a dominant pace, but in the end, could not overcome his bad luck from qualifying. On the last lap Filippi's car suffered fuel surge problems and dropped from fourth to fourteenth. Alexander Rossi, who had qualified fifth, was relegated to the back of the grid following a genuine human error, but recovered strongly to finish the race in sixth place, earning three points for the team. For tomorrow's race Rossi will start from the second row.
Both Filippi and Rossi had a great start and climbed to 15th and 16th from their respective 21st and 24th starting grid positions. A great pit stop strategy by the team also helped the drivers gain positions. Lap by lap the two MalaysiaQI-MeritusMahara.com drivers were pushing their way up the order. After two laps Filippi was already in 12th while Rossi was 14th. By lap 5, the pair were 12th and 13th. The pit stops started on lap 6. Rossi's was scheduled on lap 7 while Filippi stayed out a bit longer running in sixth, until he pitted on lap 8 while Rossi set the fastest lap of the race at that point while running 13th.
On lap 11 Filippi responded and set a new fastest lap of the race in 1.53.199 while running in seventh, just as Rossi broke into the top ten. Five laps later Filippi was fifth and Rossi in the points in 8th place. Ten laps before the end, Filippi had climbed to fourth.
MalaysiaQI-MeritusMahara.com now ranks 3rd in the Championship with 11 points.
Luca Filippi commented: "I had a good start and good pace. I was in fourth when the engine had a fuel pressure problem. In the end the guys in front of me were really running fast and seemed to have a much stronger engine. Even if I started from the back of the grid, I had the car for the podium. This is a heart breaking finish."
Alexander Rossi commented: "Starting from the back and finishing sixth, scoring three points for my first race with MalaysiaQI-MeritusMahara.com is a good result. I had a great race and a good start. In the first part, I struggled a bit with my first set of rear tires. After the pit stop the car was good even if I had a few problems with the balance in the hairpin. Overall, we are missing a bit of speed on the straights. I am disappointed because we had the car for a strong race and we were forced to start from the back. Anyway, it was a good finish and I will start third from second row tomorrow."
Chairman Raad S. Abduljawad said: "We are looking at a positive weekend with a great result in this incredible Abu Dhabi facility. It is a positive way to continue the season and we are looking forward to an equally positive second race tomorrow with a reverse grid."
Peter Thompson, President and team founder: "It was a hard weekend and first race. I want to thank His Excellency Dato' Yahaya Abdul Jabar, Ambassador of Malaysia to the UAE who is a very committed supporter of the team for his visit to our pit and on the starting grid at the Yas Marina circuit. Today, we finished the race with two cars and earned three points. Both drivers did a great job. Both the team and Alexander Rossi climbed to third in the drivers classification with 10 points. I am very proud of our Malaysian team and want to thank the engineers and mechanics for their dedication and hard work all week end."
A leading Middle East journaslist commented live on TV:" Great team, Great drivers, the pride of Asia, all what is needed is a bit of luck. I was very sad for Luca. He climbed from 12th to 4th. Rossi climbed from 14th to 6. it is a big achievement."
Alex Rossi - 10 points in drivers classification - 3rd place Luca Filippi (20) - 8 points in drivers classification - 5th place
-source: meritus racing