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Coloni splits with Stefano Coletti

Scuderia Coloni has announced that it has parted ways with driver Stefano Coletti, effective immediately, and that the team will be fielding a new driver at Monza.
Stefano Coletti has split with his GP2 Series team Scuderia Coloni follow last weekend's race at Spa, and will no longer be driving for the team with immediate effect.

In a statement on their website, Coloni said: "The Belgian round of GP2 in Spa-Francorchamps was the last one together for Scuderia Coloni and Stefano Coletti.

"As the objectives that had been set at the start of the season were not met, the team and the Monegasque driver agreed to part ways," the statement continued. "The name of the driver that will take the wheel of the #14 car in the remaining rounds of the season will be announced in the next few days."

It's not immediately clear from the statement whether the team was unhappy with Coletti's performance not meeting their expectations, or whether Coletti has been unhappy with the team's efforts backing him in the 2012 GP2 season.

However, as late as Sunday it seemed that Coletti was expecting to be on the grid for next week's race, when he tweeted "Let's work for Monza!" There's been no further word since the announcement of the split from the driver himself on his Facebook or website pages.

Only two race weekends remain in the current season, with the team's home race in Italy coming up this weekend and then a final round in Singapore from September 21-23. After that, Coloni will no longer be competing in GP2, as the team announced at the start of July that they are pulling out of the series at the end of the season. (See separate story.)

As part of their deal with the series organisers for exiting before the end of the current three-year contract, they have forfeited all their championship points in 2012. However, their drivers Coletti and Fabio Onidi are still able to compete in the drivers' championship.

Coletti is currently in 14th position, with the overwhelming majority of his 35 points coming from two races: a fifth place finish in the Malaysia feature race in March, and a third place on the podium in Spain in May. He collected a further 3pts at Spa with eighth place in Sunday's sprint race.

The 23-year-old Coletti from Monaco moved to Coloni after spending 2011 with Trident, where he had finished in 11th place in the championship and claimed two wins in GP2 at that season's Turkey and Hungarian sprint races. A back injury sustained in an accident during a wet weather race at Spa meant he missed the end of the season while recuperating.

Series rookie Fabio Onidi is even further adrift in 19th place on just 13pts, with eight of those coming from a sixth place at the Barcelona feature. He switched to GP2 from the AutoGP World Series at the end of 2011.

Last year, Coloni set the series on fire with a late run of strong performances from Luca Filippi who joined the team mid-season, which elevated the Italian into second place in the drivers' championship by the end of 2011. Filippi is currently aiming to get a seat in the IZOD IndyCar Series, and there's speculation that Coloni has set similar sights and has quit GP2 to set up a team in US open wheel competition in 2013.



Related Pictures

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Stefano Coletti (ITA, Scuderia Coloni) resting during day 1 of GP2 Series Pre-Season Testing at Jerez, Spain - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/ GP2 Series Media Service.]
Stefano Coletti (ITA, Scuderia Coloni) during day 3 of GP2 testing at Jerez. March 2012. [Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/ GP2 Series Media Service]
Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Caterham Racing) celebrates his victory on the podium with James Calado (GBR, Lotus GP) and Stefano Coletti (ITA, Scuderia Coloni) after the feature race at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona - May 2012. [ World Copyright: Charles Coates/GP2 Media Service.]
Stefano Coletti (ITA, Scuderia Coloni) at Spa. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Cars line up on the grid for the race. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering), Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering) & Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) celebrates his win in parc ferme. Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) celebrates his win on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident), celebrates on the podium with Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and 4. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering) leads Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering) celebrates on the podium with Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Matthew Parry (GBR, Koiranen GP) crashes into a wall. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) crosses the line to take the win. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Race One Press Conference. Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International), Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. The Safety car is deployed Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Thursday 20 August 2015. Daniel de Jong (NED, MP Motorsport). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.

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