The first race of the Singapore GP2 weekend was a tough one for Scuderia Coloni as both Luca Filippi and Fabio Onidi retired with just a few laps to go. Luck wasn’t with the team right from the start, when Filippi nearly stalled his car: from pole-position the Italian driver dropped to P7, consequently forcing the team to adopt a risky strategy in order to climb back to the top of the field. Scuderia Coloni elected to call Luca back in the pits as soon as possible, at the end of lap 6, and once he rejoined the team asked him to push as much as he could in order to overtake his rivals while they were serving their compulsory tyre change as well. Filippi’s execution was flawless as he made the most of his fresh rubber to post two staggering laps (he clocked a 2’03”657 that remained the fastest lap of the race) and recover as much as 4 places. Luca passed Cecotto, Palmer, Leimer and Valsecchi to climb to P3 behind Gutierrez and race leader Chilton.
Filippi followed the leading duo for the mid-part of the race, but after the halfrace mark a pressure problem on the rear tyres slowed his pace considerably. Luca tried to cope with the issue but on lap 23 he had no other choice than pit again. He rejoined in P15 but a couple of laps later he made a mistake just before the underpass and touched the wall, damaging his front wing: he rejoined but in the last corner of the Asian track the damaged front wing got stuck under the car, making it impossible to control. Filippi ended right into the wall: the Italian driver was unharmed but the damages reported by the car mean that Luca won’t take part in tomorrow’s Race 2.
Fabio Onidi’s race was a tough one too: the driver from Milan was starting from last place because of a ten places penalty he was handed after the Monza Race 2 crash, but he was quick off the line and immediately climbed to P21. Anyway, on a street track like Singapore where overtaking is really difficult, he had to struggle through traffic. The team tried a late pit-stop strategy that brought Fabio to P20, and then with a very consistent performance the Italian driver managed to recover another five places to P15. Unluckily, while he was fighting for position with Rosenzweig, Onidi and the American driver made contact, meaning that the race was over for both.
Source: Scuderia Coloni