Nurburgring, Race 2: Podium Again For Filippi
Top Ten Finish For Michael Herck
Scuderia Coloni crowned an impressive weekend with another podium finish in Nürburgring. Luca Filippi clinched an amazing third place in Race 2, despite starting from 8th place after yesterday’s win due to the reversed grid.
On a wet track, Luca opted for a cautious first lap knowing that some clever driving and rivals’ mistakes on slippery tarmac could lead to position gains. The start of the race proved he was right as Clos and Van der Garde went off during the first lap, and then also Bird spun, handing the Italian a P5 that became 4th place with a good overtaking move on Gutierrez. Then Filippi quickly closed on Pic who was ahead, and the trio started a great fight that lasted a few laps. The most tense moment of this first half was on lap 6, when Gutierrez dived aggressively on the inside of Turn 1 to pass both Filippi and Pic: Luca did let him through, knowing that with a much better line at the corner exit he was going to pass both his rivals under acceleration. It was working as the Italian had already passed Pic while exiting the Turn, but then Gutierrez had a big oversteer moment and did hit Luca’s car, pushing him on the outside and causing the Italian to lose two places. It was a difficult moment but Filippi kept focus and attacked Pic again, passing him after driving three full corners side by side. Anyway, the duo was slowed down by the fight, and Chilton passed both, meaning 7th place for Filippi, just out of the points.
This was the moment when the team strategy came-in, again with perfect timing: on lap 11 the pit wall decided to call Luca in the pits to mount slick tyres, two laps before his rivals. This meant that Luca had to drive carefully in his first out lap but then, as soon as the tyres got to the right temperature, the Italian just flew compared to the others, posting the fastest lap of the race three times in a row and gaining handfuls of seconds on the leaders. As they pitted later, their slick tyres were still cold while Filippi was making the most of his warm rubber to pass Gutierrez, Razia and Valsecchi, getting a well deserved 3rd place. He was also much quicker than Bianchi and Grosjean and he quickly closed the gap on the leading duo, then starting to put pressure on them.
Luca was the quickest driver on track by far, but with only one dry line offering some grip, overtaking wasn’t an easy task. Filippi tried an attack on Bianchi diving on the inside of Turn 1 on the final lap, but the Frenchman closed the door and there was a contact: Filippi spun but he was able to rejoin and finished third, handing Scuderia Coloni another podium and another 4 points, bringing the weekend’s tally to 15.
It was a good race also for Michael Herck: the Romanian driver was starting from P12 and in the first part of the race was stuck in the middle of the pack. It wasn’t an easy situation due to the track conditions but Michael managed it in the best possible way, arriving at the pit-stop in 15th place. After taking slicks he made the most of his car’s pace, which was very good on dry tyres, and recovered to end the race in P10.
Paolo Coloni: “A win and a third place in the same weekend are a great feeling. Again, in particular when the track dried-up, our car was the quickest and Luca’s pace was unbelievable. Also our strategy was perfect and the pit crew did a great job with the tyre change, so we have a lot to be happy for.
We’re also a bit disappointed anyway, because we could have won the race: when Luca took the inside of Bianchi I was thinking that we were ahead, and I was already focusing on Grosjean. But Jules decided to close the door, something that I didn’t expect as Luca was inside, he really took a big risk. It was fine for him and bad for us, we could have passed from a podium finish to nothing, but luckily this wasn’t the case, Luca just rejoined and we could start breathing again”.
Luca Filippi: “A win and a third place, 15 points in a weekend, I’m so happy of this German round. The race wasn’t easy, in the first part I had a great fight with Pic and Gutierrez but as a result my front tyres were really worn. Luckily, it happened when it was time to switch to slicks: our strategy was great, we were flying, really. I was much quicker than the guys in front, but with just one dry line, passing was a different story. I had one try on Grosjean, when we passed Valsecchi together, but he closed the door, and then on the last lap I made contact with Bianchi. It’s already ok with Jules, it’s a normal race incident for both of us, but I didn’t expect it to happen. Looking at the other races of the weekend, usually in that situation the driver on the outside just lets the one on the inside through, because crossing the lines you have a good chance of getting back ahead with a better acceleration. I was expecting this, but instead he took a big risk and closed the door. Anyway, nobody had the race ruined, that’s the most important thing. I want to say thanks to everybody again, it was an amazing weekend”.
by: Scuderia Coloni