Home Featured Colapinto’s “risky strategy” pays off with another feature race podium

Colapinto’s “risky strategy” pays off with another feature race podium

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Dutch Photo Agency

MP Motorsport’s Franco Colapinto was pleased choosing the suboptimal alternate strategy in Formula 2’s Red Bull Ring sprint race paid dividends with a second place finish.

He qualified fourth, but started third after pole-sitting team-mate Dennis Hauger stalled on the formation lap and had to start from the pits. Colapinto had committed to begin the race on the prime compound tyre, since Hauger was set to start on the option compound.

“We chose a risky strategy and it paid off,” Colapinto told media including Formula Scout after the race. “We just chose the opposite side of the strategy. Otherwise I was going to risk be boxing on the same lap and we were going to be blocked as we were very close on the grid.

“I used a bit too much I think the softs at the beginning of the race, and that hurt me a bit towards the second part of the stint on the soft tyre.

“You’re putting more energy in the tyre in the first few laps because you are doing the start, you are doing the burnouts, you are doing this. You are much more aggressive in the warm-up, and the tyre is suffering more.

“If you only want to have it for six laps, and then you’re going to change it, it’s a bit of an advantage. But if you have to use this tyre for 30 laps, like I did, and then you start to slide it at some point and you start to to pay the price of what you did in the beginning of the race in the warm-up and all that. So I think I did pay that price a bit.”

The Williams junior held on to third at the start, passed AIX Racing’s Joshua Duerksen for second on lap six and immediately was on the rear wing of Virtuosi Racing’s Gabriel Bortoleto who pitted on lap eight.

Colapinto then led for 24 laps before making his compulsory pitstop on lap 31 of 40. He rejoined in eighth and overtook six cars, but winner Bortoleto – who was over 10 seconds ahead when Colapinto began his second stint – was out of reach.

“It was a little bit tricky because I came out I think quite far behind Gabriel. But I knew P2 was possible. So just tried to keep the tyres alive and tried to go for the P2 that I thought was the maximum we could achieve.

“I couldn’t last many corners behind them because I was overheating the tyres really, really fast, and it was getting somewhat difficult in the high-speed [corners],” he explained on how he prepared his overtakes. “It felt like on braking I was stronger, and sometimes on traction as well. So I was using that more than the high-speed. In the high-speed I was suffering so, so much with the tyres that I was not able to push behind them.

“I’m happy with the result and the points,” concluded Colapinto, who is now fifth in the standings.