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COLAPINTO RETURNS TO THE PODIUM IN BARCELONA

Franco Colapinto delivered a flawless race on Grand Prix day to claim his maiden FIA F2 Feature Race podium.

Franco Colapinto has a brilliant track record at the Circuit Barcelona de Catalunya. He claimed a triple victory here in F4, stood on the podium in Formula Renault Eurocup and again just last year in FIA F3. Last weekend he added one more trophy to his Barcelona tally.

His weekend started well by finishing in the top 3 in the practice session, followed by the tightest qualifying session in F2 history. His 1:24.772 lap time was only 0.006s off pole position, a gap the human brain can hardly comprehend. This put him in third place on the grid for the Feature Race. 

He lined up on the second row on the grid on Sunday morning on soft tyres and got the perfect launch off the line, but the race was immediately neutralized by the safety car due to an incident further down the order. The race went back to green in lap 3, and Franco managed to fend off the attack coming from behind. He built up a comfortable gap ahead of Bortoleto, keeping the Brazilian out of DRS range.

The Pit stops started on Lap 9 with second-placed Crawford going early for the hard tyres. Franco entered the pits from P2 on Lap 12, with a smooth stop by the MP Motorsport crew he rejoined the race behind Aron. Bortoleto benefited from Colapinto’s cold tyres on his out lap and took his position, but once his tyres were up to optimal temperature, the Argentinian fought back and overtook the Brazilian with a spectacular move in Turn 1.

By lap 29, all drivers on the alternate strategy completed their mandatory pit stops, which allowed Franco to regain his place in P2 on the road. He kept Crawford under pressure all the way to the finish line and finished in second place, 1.4s behind the American.

This is Colapinto’s second podium finish in FIA Formula 2 in his rookie season, and his first Feature Race podium. With 18 points collected, he moves up to P6 in the standings, tied on points with teammate Dennis Hauger.

Franco Colapinto: 

“I am very happy with the weekend in general. Of course I would have been more happy with a win, but it’s still a great result for the team. They have done an incredible job. We’ve been struggling with the pace on Saturday but we stayed on track very late trying to understand why and what to do today and it worked out perfectly. Qualifying was the main point that we had to improve on, and we did that this weekend. We were so so close to Pole Position on Friday and it is very motivating for the next few races. Today we showed again that we earned our place on the podium, and we could have been fighting for the win. I am happy with the result of course. You always want more and even more here because there are so many Argentinian fans, so so many were waiting at the gates for photos and autographs, so I am very grateful for all the support I am getting. To see so many Argentinian flags in each of the grandstands of Barcelona is incredible and gives me an extra boost.”

The FIA Formula 2 season continues next weekend with the second leg of the triple-header at the Red Bull Ring.

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