Franco Colapinto will line up from the front row in Saturday’s Sprint Race after Qualifying in ninth place, a result he hopes will put him in a good position for the rest of the Imola weekend.

The MP Motorsport driver had a tricky start to the session, making a mistake on his first flying lap and ending up in the gravel at Acque Minerali. However, he recovered well to make it into the top 10 in the closing stages of the 30-minute affair.

“A lot of things going on early,” he started. “On my first push lap I made a little mistake, and I finished up in the gravel, so couldn’t set a lap on the first set of tyres. Then when we put the second set on, and I could do a decent lap.

QUALIFYING: Bortoleto leaves it late to seal pole position in Imola

“The setup of the car was good, it’s just a super bumpy track so it’s difficult to manage the references and all those kinds of things.

“Still, it’s a good place to start to be able to score points, P9, starting on reverse grid front row, you’re capable of finishing on the podium or winning the race. It’s looking like a good weekend but let’s see where we end up.”

This is a track that Colapinto says suits him and history shows just that with the Argentine driver having won his first ever race in Formula 3 at Imola back in 2022.

Colapinto is eyeing a podium in the Imola Sprint Race after Qualifying in nith
Colapinto is eyeing a podium in the Imola Sprint Race after Qualifying in nith

“I think my style suits it here,” he acknowledged. “It’s a track that I really, really enjoy always, so much. Part of it is the food, the pizza, and the pasta but it’s one of the best race tracks I’ve driven on. I’m enjoying it a lot around here and every lap with the high-speed corners, the chicanes, even where I went off, it’s one of the nicest corners of the track.

“It’s a super cool track and very enjoyable for the drivers. It’s tricky to get up to speed with in such a short Practice session.”

Looking ahead to the Sprint Race tomorrow, the Argentine believes fighting for a maiden F2 victory is possible provided he can cure an issue that has affected him since the start to the season.

PRACTICE: Aron leads the way in Imola for Hitech Pulse-Eight

“I’m starting from P2 tomorrow, so there’s always a possibility of a win. I’ve got to fix the starts, that was our main issue in the last few races but I’m sure we can.

“We can be fighting at the top, we have the pace in the races, and we’ve always showed that with strong degradation, so let’s see how it goes.

“We did a good job in testing, did a lot of stuff and many positive items. I’m happy at the moment. We’re still very early in the season and there’s still work to do but we’re going in the right direction, so let’s see what we can continue to do.”

“100% I have a good feeling going into tomorrow. It’s always the best to start at the front, let’s see if we can work a bit more on the car and have the best performance for tomorrow.”