22 May 2012
Coloni's Coletti looking forward to home event
Stefano Coletti lives in Monaco, but he's not one of those drivers who moved here after he got a little bit of money: he was born and bred in the principality, and now has racing in the blood.
Despite his most Italian of names, 23-year-old Stefano Coletti is a Monegasque - which is another way of saying that he was born and raised in Monte Carlo, and the streets of principality famous to generations of motor racing fans were just his back yard as a kid growing up.
This week he'll be taking to those same familiar streets once again, but for rather different reasons than popping out for a litre of milk. Instead, it will be his second time in GP2 at his home event.
"My home race is always a special moment of the season," said Coletti as he prepared for the fifth round of the 2012 GP2 season. "The motivation to get good result is even stronger than in other rounds."
The notoriously tight and tricky street course puts a special premium on a good starting grid position, which Coletti knows all too well as he looks ahead to the qualifying session on Thursday afternoon, which this week will have a, exceptional format to the rest of the GP2 season.
"Qualifying has always played a crucial role in Monaco, and the choice to split drivers in two groups will allow us to get clear track more easily, which should limit sensibly the problem of being stuck in traffic," said Coletti, after news that the 26-car field would be split into two 13-car groups each with just 14 minutes to set the best lap. A lottery will decide which group first - that of the even-numbered cars, or that of the odd-numbered ones.
"Overtaking will be difficult anyway in the races therefore we put great care in the single lap performance aiming to start as much to the front as possible," he added.
Coletti is hoping that a little local knowledge and a lot of support from the fans will boost him to another podium position, following on from his third place finish in the Barcelona feature race two weeks ago.
It's not just Coletti but the entire Scuderia Coloni team that is looking forward to the Monaco weekend, and sees it as a very special occasion for all concerned.
"People usually say that a win in Monaco is like winning a title, so that gives an idea of how special this venue is for motorsport," said team principal Paolo Coloni. "For us, this year it will be even more so because the local hero is racing with us, so the event feels like an home race: the whole team feels this responsibility and the guys are focused and ready to give their best.
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