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Coletti happy to be back behind the wheel

Stefano Coletti was particularly pleased to be back in action in this week's GP2 test sesstion, after his season was cut short following a serious crash at Spa in August.
Stefano Coletti had been enjoying a solid first full season in GP2 in 2011 with Trident Racing, with two sprint race wins under his belt (in Turkey and Hungary) in the GP2 main European series, following fourth place in the abbreviated GP2 Asia Series earlier in the year.

The 22-year-old Monaco-born driver was looking forward to finishing off the season in the final two race weekends of the season when a crash in the rain in Spa in August not only put him out of the feature race, but also left him with back injuries that forced him to sit out the rest of the season altogether.

When Coletti - unsighted by water spray in terrible conditions at Spa - ploughed into and over the rear of Mikhail Aleshin's Carlin car, Coletti was left with compression fractures of two vertebrae and the cracking of a third that meant he was to be out of the cockpit for the next 53 days. It was a period that included the GP2 series finale at Monza and the first post-season two-day test at Jerez in September.

"This is the first time - and hopefully the last - that I am forced to miss tests and races for so long," said Coletti, adding that he had been "counting the hours to my comeback."

He added that "I know that this test will be conditioned by the fact that I have been on a restricted work schedule for more than a month, following the complete stop after the crash in Spa," but that he needed to get back to active duty if he was to get a ride in November's GP2 Final exhibition event supporting the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi in November.

Coletti was lucky enough to get to drive the Dams car in Barcelona on Wednesday, which was the car that powered Romain Grosjean to a dominating drivers championship in 2011. And on Thursday, Coletti switched to a run with Scuderia Coloni, the team behind Luca Filippi's scorching late-season run to third place in the drivers championship.

Coletti thanked "all the people that have been close to me in this difficult period of my career" as he took up the chance to "test the two most winning cars of 2011 - this is an honour and an important privilege to me."

The first order of business was making sure Coletti's recovery was far enough along in the eyes of the medical staff. "We observed a period of absolute rest during the three weeks following the incident and then we started physiotherapy, first in the water at the Institute pool and then in the gym" said Doctor Giancarlo Raffermi, the orthopaedist overseeing Coletti's treatment and recuperation at the Monaco Institute of Sports Medicine and Surgery.

"We carefully avoided the athlete's loss of muscle tone and physical strength," Dr Raffermi added. "A complete recovery will need two to three more weeks of work but this test will allow us to check on the progress obtained so far."




Related Pictures

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2011 GP2 Series. Round 1. Istanbul Park, Istanbul Turkey. 8th May. Sunday Race. Stefano Coletti (MON, Trident Racing) crosses the line to take victory. [Picture credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service]
Stefano Coletti (MON, Trident Racing) celebrates his victory in the sprint race at the Hungaroring, Hungary in July 2011. [Photo: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Media Service.]
Eventual race winner Stefano Coletti (MON, Trident Racing) during the sprint race at the Hungaroring, Hungary in July 2011. [Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Media Service.]
Trident Racing`s Stefano Coletti, photographed at home in Monaco earlier in 2011. [Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Daniel Abt (GER, Hilmer Motorsport), leads Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) & Artem Markelov (RUS, RT RUSSIAN TIME) at the start at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) battle for the lead at the start at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin), Johnny Cecotto (VEN, Trident) & Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) celebrates his win on the podium with Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) and Johnny Cecotto (VEN, Trident) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) celebrates his win on the podium with Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) and Johnny Cecotto (VEN, Trident) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) elebrate at Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 27 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) celebrate at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 27 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) during practice at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Friday 18 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering), takes the flag to win at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Sunday 20 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)

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