BAHRAIN, RACE 2: ONIDI AND SCUDERIA COLONI IN THE TOP TEN AFTER A GREAT RECOVERY
Scuderia Coloni and Fabio Onidi clinched a very good top ten finish in today’s Sprint Race of the third GP2 round in Bahrain. The Italian driver closed the race in 9th place after starting from P20 on the grid, while team-mate Stefano Coletti finished in P18 after starting from row eleven.
Onidi’s great recovery was built on a stunning start that launched him immediately to 11th place: Fabio was very quick off the line, and even had to slow down a bit in the middle of first corner to avoid the mayhem caused by two cars touching ahead of him.
The Italian driver sticked to Leimer’s gearbox for the first few laps, putting temperature into his tyres and waiting for the best moment to start attacking. That moment came on lap 4, when Fabio overtook the swiss driver to take P10 and started chasing Chilton and Berthon. Onidi closed the gap quickly and took advantage of the fight between the two rivals to pass them both on lap 6, climbing to P8. At that point Fabio was just behind Ericsson and started putting pressure on him for seventh place: he managed to bring the gap under the one second mark but not finding room for a clean pass he decided to settle for P8, also because in the final part of the race the grip of his rear tyres started fading. Fabio had to slow down a bit to nurse his tyres in the very last laps and this allowed Leimer to go past him, but Onidi managed the situation in the best possible way and crossed the line in P9, taking a well deserved top ten finish.
Stefano Coletti also made a very good start that brought him to 14th place from P21 on the grid. The driver from Monaco was very quick and aggressive in the first laps: he passed Calado on lap 2 and then did the same with Gonzalez on the following lap, taking 12th place. A good recovery seemed possible, but Coletti’s tyres started to wear too early and this meant that further into the race he couldn’t defend himself from his rivals’ attacks, so finishing in 18th place.
Paolo Coloni: “We knew that the race would have been difficult starting from the back of the grid, so a top ten finish is a good result today. Fabio drove a really great race, he was focused and very clever in understanding when he had to push and when he had to back off a bit instead. I’m sorry for Stefano, who also seemed set for a great recovery after a very good start. Unluckily tyre wear was still an issue on his car, but we’re confident that in Barcelona we will have the performance to fight back”.