Luca Filippi takes stunning comeback victory at Monza
Filippi wins as fellow countryman Coletti secures the reverse grid pole!
The most experienced driver in the history of GP2 racing, Luca Filippi, has stormed to an amazing comeback victory after snatching the lead away from pole man Max Chilton. The Italian driver then streaked into the distance, to eventually win the GP2 feature race by four seconds over the Barwa Addax on Johnny Cecotto jr.
Amazingly, there was no contact as the 26 car field negotiated turns 1 and 2 at the start, contrary to many who predicted at least some contact. Giedo van der Garde suffered a torrid start for Caterham, as the Dutchman plummeted through the field at the start and eventually became the first retirement as Max Chilton led at the front.
James Calado, who is currently locked in a grueling Championship battle with team-mate Esteban Gutierrez, lost a part of his front wing through turns 1 and 2 after the opening lap. The Briton then skipped through the run-off area along with Fabio Onidi, who also had extensive front wing damage. This forced the marshals to impose the black and orange flag on Onidi, who eventually adhered to the rules and pitted with his front wing precariously dangling off of his car.
By lap 6, the opening pit stops were being carried out as the likes of Esteban Gutierrez, Stefano Coletti and Simon Trummer pitted first. Luca Filippi pitted on lap 8 along with Championship leader Davide Valsecchi, whilst fellow Championship rival Luiz Razia was unceremoniously taken out by the Racing Engineering of Fabio Leimer. Razia beached his Arden car on the kerbing, and became the second retirement of the race. This eventuality proved shocking in the Championship fight, with Davide Valsecchi and Luiz Razia tied at the top of the Drivers’ Championship.
Max Chilton and Marcus Ericsson then became the next front runners to pit, with Max Chilton rejoining the circuit only just ahead of Luca Filippi. This pit stop at the front gifted the lead down to Johnny Cecotto jr., who had yet to pit for Barwa Addax. Chilton’s lead over Filippi failed to last for long, as the local driver wasted no time in overtaking the Briton for what would become the lead once the rest of the field pitted.
Fabio Leimer once again became embroiled in another on-track collision, this time with the DAMS of Felipe Nasr. Unlike Luiz Razia, Nasr was able to continue racing, however the Brazilian driver eventually pitted and retired with damage to his car. Johnny Cecotto jr. pitted on lap 13, handing the lead down to the Ocean Racing Technology driver of Nigel Melker. The Dutchman’s team-mate, Victor Guerin, was issued with a drive-thru penalty for speeding in the pits, before he too pitted on lap 21. This handed the lead to Stephane Richelmi, who had also yet to pit.
However, when the Trident Racing of Richelmi finally pitted on lap 22, Luca Filippi assumed the lead. The Italian driver had opened up a considerable lead at the front, and was literally romping away as Max Chilton was overtaken by the Barwa Addax of Johnny Cecotto jr. As the race entered it’s closing stages, it became apparent that Luca Filippi would not be challenged at the front, as the former runner-up of the Series majestically crossed the line to pick up a memorable race victory on home soil. This was amazingly Filippi’s first race in GP2 since the Italian race last year, proving that the 27-year-old Italian had not lost any of his competitive edge.
Local driver Stefano Coletti finished 8th, and will therefore start tomorrow morning’s sprint race from the reverse grid pole. Coletti moved from Coloni to Rapax prior to this weekend’s race, thus allowing Filippi the chance to make a return to the Series.
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|01.||Luca Filippi||Scuderia Coloni||30 laps - 48m03.604s|
|02.||Johnny Cecotto||Barwa Addax Team||+4.028|
|03.||Marcus Ericsson||iSport International||+5.377|
|05.||Fabio Leimer||Racing Engineering||+9.413|
|07.||Jolyon Palmer||iSport International||+17.600|
|09.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Lotus GP||+19.293|
|10.||Julian Leal||Trident Racing||+20.025|
|11.||Nigel Melker||Ocean Racing Technology||+20.464|
|12.||James Calado||Lotus GP||+26.027|
|13.||Stéphane Richelmi||Trident Racing||+27.890|
|14.||Sergio Canamasas||Venezuela GP Lazarus||+31.193|
|15.||Nathanaël Berthon||Racing Engineering||+31.910|
|16.||Simon Trummer||Arden International||+35.375|
|17.||Rene Binder||Venezuela GP Lazarus||+38.769|
|18.||Jake Rosenzweig||Barwa Addax Team||+40.226|
|21.||Fabio Onidi||Scuderia Coloni||+44.769|
|22.||Rodolfo Gonzalez||Caterham Racing||+56.350|
|23.||Victor Guerin||Ocean Racing Technology||+61.984|
|25.||Luiz Razia||Arden International||DNF|
|26.||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham Racing||DNF|