Scuderia Coloni experienced a very eventful Race 1 in Silverstone. Fabio Onidi took the flag in 13th place, while Stefano Coletti retired after a spin.
The track conditions weren’t easy: the race start was delayed by 1h30 because of the heavy rain that did hit the Silverstone track, even forcing the F1 qualifying to stop. Given the amount of water on the track Race Direction decided that the GP2 had to start under Safety-Car, with the drivers lapping at reduced pace for the first six laps.
It was a very stressful situation to cope with, but when the restart was given Onidi immediately got into the right pace, overtaking two rivals to pass to P15 from P17. Fabio lapped consistently in the middle of the field and as the race progressed got up to P13. He did his mandatory pit-stop on lap 17, and then kept 13th position until the checkered flag.
Coletti’s race was difficult: starting from P26 for a penalty after qualifying (not enough fuel in the car), the driver from Monaco entered the pit-lane for his mandatory tyre change as soon as the pit-stop window opened, a strategy that allowed him to pit without losing time on the rest of the field. Stefano’s race was looking good as on lap 9 he was already in P18 and nearly all his rivals still had to pit, but on the following lap he made a mistake while fighting with Nasr and went on the grass. Unfortunately the runoff area was soaked and a lot of water entered the radiators, immediately sending the engine in safety mode. As a consequence Coletti lost a lot of time, and asked the team to switch to slick tyres in order to try a different strategy. Unluckily the track was still too damp for such a move, and he ended the race with a spin out of Becketts.
Paolo Coloni: “We have mixed feelings after this race. Fabio did a good job recovering lots of places and keeping a cool mind in very difficult track conditions, doing exactly what we had asked him. At the same time we are obviously disappointed for Stefano, because with the early pit-stop strategy we had made the right choice, and even starting from last place a top 5 finish was possible. Anyway the track was really treacherous today, so staying on track was difficult especially for a driver that was pushing a lot to recover. Tomorrow’s race should be wet again, so there could be room for some surprises”.
Source: Scuderia Coloni