Franco Colapinto was one of the biggest gainers in the Barcelona Sprint Race, rising from P10 on the grid to finish sixth and collect some vital points in the Championship. The MP Motorsport driver kept himself out of trouble and maximised the few available overtaking opportunities as rivals around him struggled to do the same.
The Argentinian was happy to have added to his points tally but is fully focused on what tomorrow might bring. His promising performance in the Sprint has filled him with confidence heading into Sunday.
“It was a positive race for us. Starting from 10th and finishing P6 is always cool. We scored good points, the car was good, so I’m happy with that. We’ve seen we need to work on a few things for tomorrow, but we’re looking quite good. Happy with the team and happy with the car, we are looking strong for tomorrow as well. It was really difficult to overtake today so four places is a decent job.
“I tried to keep it clean all race, it’s not a lot of points for the Sprint Race. It’s more useful to try and collect from the others who were making mistakes and pushing and risking too much in this race. So that’s why I’m happy with the pace in the car and the place in the Championship. Looking forward to tomorrow now.”
Colapinto made up the places in the Sprint Race, but it was difficult to make each pass according to the MP driver. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has been reconfigured for this season to bypass the final chicane and replace it with a single fast right-hand corner.
While that has put extra stress on the tyres, it has also had an impact on overtaking and defending in the races. Colapinto says that it has changed how drivers can attack the car ahead. The MP driver says that getting too close to a rival in the final corners can result in a place lost, having been shaping up to make an overtake in the final sector.
“I guess it was quite bad the deg, but I think I was expecting a bit more. Of course, with the Safety Car you can cool the tyres a bit during the race and that makes it a bit easier. The issues is, you lose a lot of downforce and that makes it really difficult to be close to someone. If you’re attacking before the last corner, you end up defending your position in the first corner because you lose so much laptime in the last corner due to the aero wash, it’s insane.”
His overtaking prowess in the Sprint still has him feeling confident of his chances despite those newfound difficulties. He says the win is still on in the Feature if he can maximise the car from third on the grid.
“I think the win is possible, we’ll definitely try to take it. It was a decent day for us and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’m expecting more deg and less Safety Cars so hopefully we can manage it still in the Feature. I’ll try to get a trophy to the team who have been working really hard. The car was really fast today so hopefully we can have a good race tomorrow.”