A RACE CONTACT AND A GEARBOX ISSUE HAMPER SCUDERIA COLONI IN BAHRAIN
The first race of the GP2 Series 3rd round in Bahrain proved to be ill- fated for Scuderia Coloni. The Italian team ended in P20 and P21 with Fabio Onidi and Stefano Coletti after an eventful race in which the odds definitely played against the team and his drivers.
At the start Coletti was quick off the line from 6th row, but his race was virtually over at the first corner, when Stefano got hit in the back by a rival and spun. The driver from Monaco rejoined in penultimate place but the clash had altered the toe of his rear right tyre. With an unbalanced car and an uneven tyre wear Coletti opted for an early pit-stop but that wasn’t enough to improve the situation. Stefano could do nothing but cruise to the finish, crossing the line in 21st place.
Onidi’s start, in the meantime, was good enough to gain one place from 9th row on the grid. Fabio was on a late pit-stop strategy and so he watched after his tyres in the first part of the race, with the clear aim of being more aggressive after the tyre change. The Italian driver did his pit-stop on lap 17 but when he left the box an electronic glitch prevented him from changing gear. Fabio had to complete more than half a lap in 1st before managing to unjam the gearbox and turning back to his normal race pace. After that his speed was good but he was too far back to hope for a good result, so he only managed to reach the back of the group and pass a couple of cars to finish in P20.
Paolo Coloni: “There’s not much to say, it’s racing. We had good chances of a recovery with both cars, but we in the end things went differently. The balance of Stefano’s car was completely ruined by the contact, so his rear right tyre was wearing too quickly to allow a decent pace. We are still investigating what happened on Onidi’s car because it’s something odd: the gearbox got stuck in 1st gear and then turned back to normal after half lap, it’s really difficult to understand why. It’s a pity, we’ll se what we will be able to do tomorrow starting from the back”.