Luca Filippi admitted he was disappointed to lose a podium finish in the GP2 sprint race in Valencia after the Trust Team Arden man was hit with a 25 second penalty for a coming together with Romain Grosjean.
Filippi had seen his weekend take an unexpected boost when he was one of the main beneficiaries of the last lap drama that occurred on the final lap of the feature race – when both Giorgio Pantano and Bruno Senna ran out of fuel. Having started the final lap in tenth place, Filippi was able to sail past the stricken car of Pantano and then blasted past a slowing Senna out of the final corner to steal eighth on the line; and with it pole position for the sprint race.
The Italian managed to hold the lead off the start but soon found himself coming under pressure from Romain Grosjean, who had battled his way up from fifth to second in the opening lap.
Hounding Filippi for position, Grosjean dived down the inside into the final corner on lap eleven to take the lead but on the following lap, Filippi saw his chance to retake the lead at turn three. However, the gap wasn't big enough for the move to come off and the resultant contact saw an unhappy Grosjean forced off into retirement.
Although it also allowed Lucas di Grassi into the lead, Filippi was able to continue and took the finish in second place before he was handed a 25 second penalty that dropped him outside the top ten and outside the points.
"I was fast at the beginning and pulled away a bit, and then my rear went off and I had some rear locking and was losing a lot under braking, and Grosjean came closer," he said. "It was a nice fight for a while but unfortunately we hit: he was always on the outside to pass or to defend, and then suddenly he closed the door. When you have somebody on the inside who can't disappear then you have to leave him the space to go around the corner, and he would have been on the inside for the next one.
"Obviously it's very disappointing to have my podium taken away from me, but at least I could show everyone what I can do when I get a chance. I was very fast today and was able to fight for the victory, and I take a lot of confidence from that even if I cannot keep the points."