IMOLA, RACE 1: FOURTH PLACE FOR HERCK
The Imola Feature Race ended with a good 4th place for Michael Herck and Scuderia Coloni, bringing 5 valuable points in the standings to both the driver and the team.
After yesterday's qualifying, that saw Herck clinch 3rd place, the Romanian kept his focus and contested a very good race right from the start, keeping third place behind Grosjean and Van der Garde. In the first laps Michael sticked himself to the tail of the front duo, being the only one to break the 1'30 mark together with them. The first half of the race confirmed Herck as the third quickest driver on track, in full control and with a good advantage on Bianchi, who was 4th. Things changed only some laps before the pit-stop, when Michael had to back-off a bit due to worn tyres and Bianchi closed the gap.
The frenchman made his move after the mandatory pit-stop: having pitted one lap before Herck he had warm tyres, while Michael was on cold rubber. Considering that Bianchi was fighting for the title, Herck decided not to risk a contact, letting him go and settling in P4. From then on Herck drove again a perfect race, steadily increasing the gap on his opponents. The closest one, Coletti, ended the race more than 20" adrift.
Luca Filippi, who started in p26, closed the race as 23rd, but showing an impressive pace. At the start he immediately passed Caldarelli, then damaging a front wing while battling with Berthon. He decided to change his front wing at the pit-stop, thus losing a lot of time. Despite this, he re-entered the track in full attack mode, boasting a 1'28 race pace, exactly as Grosjean, confirming the competitiveness of the package.
Paolo Coloni: "Both our driver drove a great race: Michael had an excellent start keeping both Bird and Bianchi behind. Jules overtook him in the only moment of weakness, when Michael was on cold tyres, and I think that deciding not to risk too much our driver was very clever and professional, considering that his opponent was fighting for the title. Also Luca did a great job, confirming that without yesterday's gremlins he could have been fighting for the win with Grosjean. Starting behind was a pity, but we confirmed our competitiveness once more".
Michael Herck: "Keeping 3rd place would have been better, but we had a good race anyway. The car was really good, but before the pit-stop I had some issues with the tyres and I slowed down a bit. For tomorrow we'll do some slight modifications to have less understeer, and then we'll be able to fight for the podium again. I will have the inside line at the start, so I will try to make the most of it".
Luca Filippi: "Starting from last row there wasn't much I could do, and losing time with the wing didn't help. Anyway, on the clear track I was really quisk, so the performance was there".
-source: scuderia coloni