Stefano and Lello make the best out of a difficult situation in the Barcelona Sprint Race.

Stefano and Lello make the best out of a difficult situation in the Barcelona Sprint Race.

11.05.2014: Following a 20 second Feature Race post-race penalty Stefano Coletti was demoted to

Following a 20 second Feature Race post-race penalty Stefano Coletti was demoted to 16th on the grid whilst Raffaele Marciello would start from 25th as a result of his retirement on yesterday’s opening lap. Overnight rain meant that the rubber had been washed from the track surface and there were still damp patches off the racing line.

 Additionally the air and track temperatures were much colder than yesterday at 19° and 21° respectively so the track would have much less grip than the drivers had been used to. Today’s Sprint Race would take place over 26 laps and all the cars were starting on the hard compound Pirelli tyres.

As the lights went off  Stefano made a clean start moving to the outside into the first corner and he quickly began to make up positions and at the end of the opening lap he had made up an impressive seven place to be 9th, right on the gearbox of Richelmi. The positions rem! ained static for the next few laps and by lap 6 Stefano was involve in a big battle for 3rd with seven cars separated by less than five seconds.

By lap 10 the cars from 4th to 10th were still in a big group with all the drivers having to make sure they made no mistakes as, with such close racing, the smallest error could mean the loss of several positions. All the front runners began to close up and with 10 laps to go the first 12 cars were separated by just nine seconds but overtaking was still proving very difficult and many drivers were finding their tyres were beginning to go off.

With five laps to go Stefano was able to move up to 8th as he passed Evans and he was now just 0.3 seconds behind Richelmi but there were not enough laps left and the Racing Engineering driver had to settle for 8th at the chequered flag.

Lello made a good start from the back of the grid gaining five positions to be 20th at the end of lap 1 and he continued ! his great progress to be 16th just behind Izawa on lap 2. By lap 6 Lello was still battling hard with Izawa and he was in a group all fighting for 10th with all the drivers looking for a way to pass but having to be careful because of the damp areas off the racing line.

As the race reached the half-way point Lello was still chasing Izawa but with Abt close behind him the Racing Engineering driver was making sure he did not give the Hilmer car a chance to overtake but on lap 23, as the cars ahead closed up, he lost a place to the German driver and he finished in 16th place.

The next round of the 2014 GP2 Series will be at Monaco in two weeks’ time and the Racing Engineering Team will be looking to translate their undoubted race and qualifying pace into some positive results.

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering
: "Finishing in the points when starting from 16th was our target today with Stefano. But overall this race could have been better as we suffered from the front left tyre like most of the field.

Starting from last row was a difficult exercise for Lello and he went up to 16th position, which adds to his experience. Overall the weekend was disappointing in terms of results, but positive regarding qualifying performance and race pace in yesterday's feature race."

Raffaele Marciello
: "The start was good today, so I am happy about that and this means we have a good base for Monaco. The first 5-6 laps were good and then I started to save my tyres. Later on I started to get problems with my tyres, so I lost two positions.

 It's bad I couldn't take any points this weekend, but I am happy the start went well."

Stefano Coletti:
"I had a good opening lap when I was able to finish in 9th. Everyone knows that it's difficult to overtake in Barcelona, so my intention was to save the tyres and create a bit of a gap to the car in front, at the same time I had Ellinas very close behind me.

In the end I was able to overtake one more car to go on to finish in 8th and take a point.”

- Ines Koschutnig - photo GP2


11.05.2014 / MaP

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