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Coloni splits with Stefano Coletti

4 September 2012

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.


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