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pic 05/09/14 Lello qualifies 5th today at Monza.

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Once again cooler weather greeted the GP2 teams for the morning free practice session today at Monza with air and track temperatures of 22° and 33° respectively although these figures were rising as the sun was starting to shine brightly and all the cars were running the P Zero Orange hard Pirelli compound.

Stefano was quickly on the pace going 6th with a time of 1:33.843s which he quickly improved to 1:32.913s to move up to 2nd and two laps later he went faster still at 1:32.598s. Lello was taking a little longer to get up to speed as he got used to driving a GP2 car at Monza for the first time and after fifteen minutes his best time was 1:33.726s. With the first third of the session completed most of the cars returned to the pits for setup adjustments and at this time the first eleven cars were separated by less than half a second.

With twenty four minutes remaining both Racing Engineering drivers returned to the track and Lello reduced his time to 1:33.422s but Stefano’s session came to an end when he ran wide on the new surface at the Parabolica and the young Monegasque driver spun into the gravel and was unable to return to the track although his time remained good enough for 5th when the session ended. With 15 minutes still to go Lello set his fastest time so far with a lap of 1:32.967s and after another five minutes Lello was back in the Racing Engineering pit for some more adjustments before returning to the track with six minutes remaining and he went 8th as he reduced his time to 1:32.697s.

Although it was a little warmer for the thirty minute qualifying session with air and track temperatures of 24° and 37° respectively, the dark clouds were forming and there was a possibility of rain so most of the cars were looking to set a good time early on in case the weather deteriorated. The cars were now using the softer P Zero White medium Pirelli compound as they battled for the best possible grid position.

Lello was the first of the Racing Engineering drivers to set a quick time going 10th with a time of 1:32.901s with Stefano right behind on 1:32.918s. Lello improved on his next lap to 1:32.750s and then on his sixth lap he moved up to 5th with a 1:32.306s. Stefano was working on the setup of his car and as the session reached the halfway point his best time was still the 1:32.918s he had set early in the session. All the cars now returned to the pits for some final adjustments and a new set of tyres for the final ten minutes.

Stefano was now setting some fast laps as he moved up to 10th with a 1:32.412s while Lello was now 5th on 1:32.124s but as the session finished neither driver was unable to improve on these times as traffic became a problem on this narrow circuit.

Tomorrow’s 30 lap Feature Race will see Lello start from the third row of the grid in 5th place while Stefano will be back on the seventh row in 13th place. In recent races both men have shown an excellent race pace and they will be looking to finish on the podium and score as many points as possible.
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©GP2
Team Comments:

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: “Lello finished today’s qualifying in P5, which is not too bad, but we have not been among the fastest ones today and will now work on analysing this to understand why. Stefano’s 13th place doesn’t reflect the potential as a top 5 position was possible putting his best sector times together, but he was hampered by traffic. So, in general, we haven’t obtained the results we were looking for today, but we will work hard now as a lot is to be achieved on Saturday and Sunday.”

Rafaele Marciello: “For the race the result is not too bad with P5, but it’s not what we were hoping for before qualifying. We didn’t improve the car as much as we wanted from free practice and will now work for tomorrow.”

Stefano Coletti:: “I had traffic on both runs. It’s a shame as the performance was there to be in top 5 today if only I had a clean lap. I am looking forward to tomorrow’s race, which will be long and demanding.”
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©GP2
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©GP2
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©GP2
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