Monza, Race 1: Third Win For Filippi And Scuderia Coloni
Luca Filippi and Scuderia Coloni are on a charge: the only all-italian pairing of the GP2 field clinched a dominating success in today's Race 1 in Monza, taking the third win (the second in a row) of their season after a race led from flag to flag.
Luca, who was starting from second place after yesterday's qualifying, was perfect right from the start, when avoiding wheelspin he jumped ahead of poleman Pic.
From then on, his race was a real solo: the Italian driver managed to pull away immediately, preventing his rivals from taking advantage of his slipstream on the straights, a key factor in Monza. His lead was already as big as 1”8 at the end of lap 2, and with a bunch of fastest laps Filippi stretched it up to 5”4 on lap 9.
On lap 12 his main competitors (Pic, Grosjean, Leimer and Carroll) decided to pit, but thanks to a good tyre management Luca kept running, waiting until lap 14 for his mandatory stop. He came out from the pits still in the lead with gap a bigger than 3”, and then he decided to manage it for the central part of the race.
Luca started to push again with 7 laps to go in order to secure the fastest lap of the race and the related extra point. Doing so he stretched again his lead over 5”, and started a speed battle with Grosjean that the Scuderia Coloni driver eventually won posting a 1'33”397.
Thanks to the eleven points grabbed today, Filippi climbed up to third spot in the Overall Standings, just one point adrift from second placed Pic. Tomorrow Luca will drive to hit this last target, even if starting from P8 on the reversed grid won't make it easy.
If the race brought very good news for Filippi, it wasn't the same for Michael Herck. The Romanian driver was out of the race after a crash on lap 2, when he collected Chilton at the first corner after a mistake under braking. Herck suffered an hand injury in the impact, and immediately left for Monte Carlo where he will undergo hospital checks. This means that he won't take part in tomorrow's Race 2.
Paolo Coloni: “What this team is doing is amazing. In just four events we took results that usually require a whole season and we are proud that the Italian flag was being waved on the podium once more. Luca, the engineers, the mechanics, all of them are working hard for the same aim, and the results are there to prove how good they are. This win is what they deserve, and the best way to say thanks to the Italian fans for their support. Now we must fight to take the second spot in the standings with Luca, and tomorrow we do our best again”.
Luca Filippi: “It was just a perfect race. I realized immediately that my start was very good and that my pace was enough to immediately open a gap, preventing the others from using my slipstream. After that I was in full control and I even had fun driving this car on the low downforce setup.
Lap after lap, while the win of this home race was getting closer and closer, I realized how special is what we are achieving, and I have to say thanks to this guys because I'm living the best period of my career with them.
Now second place in the standings is my aim: tomorrow I must finish in front of Pic and keep an eye on Bianchi who is starting from pole on the reversed grid. It won't be easy but I will do my best”.