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pic 04/07/14 Lello starts from pole position for Racing Engineering at Silverstone.

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It was a beautiful morning for today’s free practice at Silverstone with air and track temperatures of 20° and 36° respectively and all the cars were using the Pirelli P Zero Orange hard compound as they took to the track as the 45 minute session got underway.

Stefano was immediately on the pace going fastest after eight minutes with a lap of 1:42.550s and his teammate, Lello, was right behind him in 8th on 1:42.899s. The times were soon dropping and Lello went top after twelve minutes with a time of 1:41.322s and Stefano had improved to 1:41.784s for 5th and the Monegasque was soon back at the top with a 1:41.261s until Lello improved again to 1:41.167s. After twenty minutes most of the cars, including both of the Racing Engineering drivers, returned to the pits for some setup adjustments. After completing a few more laps both cars returned to the pits again with ten minutes remaining and, with nobody able to improve on the Racing Engineering times, Lello and Stefano finished the session 1st and 2nd.

The weather conditions for the afternoon was very similar to those in the morning but the wind had picked up which would, potentially, affect the chosen gear ratios. All the cars would be using the Pirelli P Zero White medium compound as they fought for the grid positions for tomorrow’s Feature Race.

After eight minutes, on his first flying lap, Lello set the fastest time so far with a time of 1:40.445s while Stefano’s best lap was just a little slower on 1:41.049s. With half the session completed all the cars returned to the pits for new tyres and some setup adjustments before going for a final effort.

With just under ten minutes remaining the cars returned to the track and Lello set a very quick first sector time but traffic cost him time towards the end of the lap. Similarly Stefano set his fastest time in the first sector and was looking to move up the grid but he had to back off when he encountered Daly on his warm-up lap which completely ruined his time. As the session ended Lello stayed at the top to take pole position with his best lap of 1:40.445s but Stefano would have to make do with his best time of 1:40.885s for 11th on the grid.

Tomorrow’s 29 lap Feature Race will see Lello starting from his first GP2 pole position and he will be the favourite to take the win. Stefano’s difficult qualifying will see him have to start from the 6th row of the grid but, given the race pace he has shown so far this season, he will still be aiming for a podium finish.
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©GP2
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©GP2
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©GP2
Team Comments:

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: “After very strong results in free practice this morning with Lello in P1 and Stefano in P2 it’s very nice to see Lello confirming our strong form by taking his first GP2 pole position. I would like to congratulate him and the team for the work done, which has led to today’s result. As expected qualifying was very tight and Stefano is down in P11 with only 0.440 seconds separating him from pole but it’s still possible for him to score a lot points this weekend as we know that the car and he himself can perform very well in races. We will now concentrate on the preparations of tomorrow’s race.”

Rafaele Marciello: “I am very happy with my first pole position in GP2 after the difficult start I had to the season. After Austria we knew that things are shaping up and with each session there was an improvement and my engineer understands me and what I want more and more. The objective for tomorrow is clearly the race win. I was on the podium twice in Austria and showed a strong performance there, so tomorrow the race win and taking the points for fastest lap is what we re aiming for.”

Stefano Coletti:: “The first qualifying run wasn’t great. I didn’t use the tyres properly and also found some traffic. On the second stint I had traffic on two of my fast laps, but that’s part of the game. I should have done it the lap before. Nevertheless it’s a long race and a lot depends on the first laps. Last year Tom Dillmann started 12th and finished in the top 3, so I think we can finish in a top position.”
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