SPA, RACE 1: SECOND PLACE FOR PARENTE AND SCUDERIA COLONI AFTER AN AMAZING RECOVERY It was a staggering Feature Race for Scuderia Coloni in Spa-Francorchamps: the Portuguese driver and the team managed to overcome a bad starting position (P16)...
SPA, RACE 1: SECOND PLACE FOR PARENTE AND SCUDERIA COLONI AFTER AN AMAZING RECOVERY
It was a staggering Feature Race for Scuderia Coloni in Spa-Francorchamps: the Portuguese driver and the team managed to overcome a bad starting position (P16) and to transform it in an amazing second place finish after an incredible race in which the team strategy worked at its best and the driver showed all his talent boasting a qualifying pace from flag to flag.
Things went in the right way right from the start, because Parente was perfect off the line and gained as much as 5 places, passing from P16 to P11. The Safety-Car, called in after a crash involving Dani Clos and Sam Bird, didn't stop his momentum as he passed Christian Vietoris for 10th place at the end of the Kemmel straight immediately after the restart.
Then, on lap 6, the pit lane was opened and most of the drivers came in for the mandatory pit-stop in the following three laps. Meanwhile, Scuderia Coloni opted for a different approach: with the weather forecasts predicting rain showers for the last part of the race, the team decided to go for the pit-stop as late as possible, hoping to save one stop compared to the others in case of rain. In the end rain didn't show, but the strategy worked anyway because lap after lap Parente managed to stretch his lead making the most of the clear track: thanks to a perfect set-up lapped with worn tyres agains a competition on fresh rubber wasn't an issue, and Alvaro made the rest with a masterly drive.
When, with just two laps to go, the team decided to call him in the pits, his advantage on Maldonado was 23", something that allowed Parente to get back on track in front of Grosjean and just 6 seconds adrift of the Venezuelan leader. With two amazing laps Parente got back on Maldonado's tail and tried to overtake him on the last lap, in the final corner, the Bus Stop chicane. Unfortunately Pastor closed the door and Parente's recovery ended just two tenths shy of victory, giving the team a great result anyway and gifting GP2 with a race to be remembered for a long time.
Vladimir Arabadzhiev had a less lucky race: the bulgarian driver had a really good start, passing both Fabio Leimer and Luiz Razia. Further in the race he got as high as 3rd place thanks to the same strategy of his team mate, but his race was over with just 3 laps to go due to a mistake under braking at Les Combes.
Paolo Coloni: "It was a really incredibile race, we were breathless until the end. Obviously we are very happy becaused everything worked faultlessly, both our strategy and the car, that was really the quickest on track. We didn't have the chance to lap on a dry track before during this weekend, but when Alvaro got out of the car he told us that it was the best GP2 he had ever driven, something that is really rewarding for our mechanics and engineers, the right prize for the amazing job they did. Besides this, it also shows that the hard work we did at home in the summer with our simulator is paying dividends, because it allowed us to do the right set-up choices even if we were lacking infos on the car's behaviour on a dry track. I'm also very happy of the points we are taking home, the last positions in the standing don't belong to our team's history".
Alvaro Parente: "First of all I want to say thanks to the whole team. They gave me a car that was capable of winning the race, they did choose the best strategy and we were very close to victory. For me it was a comeback after a long stop and driving the car only on the wet was an handicap for today's dry race. Anyway, as soon as the race started I understood that the car was just perfect. When the track was clear in front of me I could just push as much as I wanted and I was the quickest on track even if I was looking after the tyres a bit. That's why it worked out so well, I had all I needed to stretch my lead enough to jump on the podium. Coming back like this is a dream, and I'm really grateful to all the people who made it possible".
Vladimir Arabadzhiev: "It's a real pity because the car set-up was perfect and I think that today I've lost the chance to get my best result in GP2. Anyway we still have tomorrow's race, and with a car like this we can do well".
-source: scuderia coloni