After an amazing Saturday that saw Scuderia Coloni and Luca Filippi clinch a dominant win, the team experienced a bitter Sprint Race as Luca took the flag in P22 and Fabio Onidi retired after a crash on lap 2.
It was a pity because right at the start things were looking good: from P8 on the grid Filippi made a great start and at the exit of the first chicane he was 5th already.
Unluckily, yesterday’s winner had to cope with some overzealous driving by his rivals: he was first slowed down by Ericsson, who instead should have backed off to give the position back after a huge chicane cut, and then he in the first Lesmo corner he was touched by Chilton.
The contact damaged the right side of Luca’s front wing and slowed his pace considerably as he dropped to 11th place in just a couple of laps. The team had no other choice than calling him in the pits to change the wing and mount soft tyres, and that’s what they did on lap 5.
With his car back to full efficiency the Italian needed no time to show what his real pace was. He posted just one lap over the 1’34 mark, the first one on cold tyres, and then for the sixteen remaining laps all his times where in the 1’33”5-1’33”8 bracket, a pace that nobody else on track could match.
When Luca exited the pit-lane he had race leader Valsecchi right behind, but by the end of the race the Scuderia Coloni driver had disappeared in the distance, stretching a gap of 7” on the leading pack.
As a final effort, Luca improved the fastest lap of the race on the very last lap posting a 1’33”507 that was a testament to the driver’s and car’s performance and showed that without the initial contact another win would have been possible.
Fabio Onidi’s race, meanwhile, lasted just two laps: after a good start from P21 the Italian driver managed to keep his position but on lap 2 he lost the car under braking at the first chicane and collided with a rival. Fabio was unharmed, but he had to retire from the race.
Luca Filippi: “It’s such a pity. Again we had an incredibly quick car and after the start I was fifth, so I’m sure that I could have gone for the win. We couldn’t do that because some drivers still think they can win the race at the first corner, but anyway we can still be happy because with that long sequence of fastest laps we showed that we were the ones to beat once again. I want to thank Scuderia Coloni for this chance, it was a dream weekend for me”.
Fabio Onidi: “I’m really disappointed. Something happened at the first chicane because the cars ahead slowed down too much and that caught me a bit by surprise.
I braked harder but the rear got too light, the car just snapped into oversteer and I couldn’t avoid the crash. It was a really hard weekend, I hoped for more in my home race”.
Source: Scuderia Coloni