Luca Filippi

Filippi in his new gear
Luca Filippi

Born: 9 August 1985 in Savigliano (Italy)
Website: www.lucafilippi.com
Twitter: @lucafilippilf
Facebook: Luca-Filippi
F1 involvement: N/A

GP2 Series statistics

Seasons entered: 7
Races entered: 111
Races started: 110
Podiums: 16
Fastest laps: 9
Best qualifying result: 1st (x3)
Best feature race result: 1st (x4)
Best sprint race result: 1st (x2)
Best championship position: 2nd (2011)
Points: 200

Season-by-season

2006 (Fisichella Motor Sport, BCN)

Luca Filippi 2006 GP2 Helmet - Right Side

Races entered: 18
Races started: 18
Podiums: 0
Fastest laps: 0
Best qualifying result: 6th (x1)
Best feature race result: 4th (x1)
Best sprint race result: 5th (x1)
Championship position: 19th
Points: 7

Luca Filippi started what would become the longest GP2 career of all time in 2006, as a 20-year-old who had just won the Italian F3000 championship driving for Fisichella Motor Sport. Indeed, he graduated with the same team, but only six races into his rookie season, which included four retirements and one points-scoring 5th place at Imola, he was replaced by countryman Giorgio Pantano. He had to miss the following rounds at Barcelona and Monte Carlo before Timo Glock gave a twist to his GP2 career by moving from BCN to iSport: the vacant seat was handed to Filippi. He only scored points at Monza in race 1, with a remarkable fourth place, and finished his rookie season 19th.

2007 (Super Nova)

Luca Filippi 2012 GP2 Helmet - Right Side

Races entered: 21
Races started: 21
Podiums: 6
Fastest laps: 1
Best qualifying result: 1st (x2)
Best feature race result: 1st (x1)
Best sprint race result: 2nd (x2)
Championship position: 4th
Points: 59

Filippi took part in 61 of his 111 races with the British team Super Nova, a relationship which begun in 2007 and saw the Italian rack up pole position and win at the opening round in Bahrain, with a 3rd place in race 2 to complete the weekend. After a no-score in Barcelona, Filippi finished 4th at Monte Carlo, then 4th and 2nd at Magny-Cours and 5th and 7th at Silverstone before six consecutive races outside of the points, four of them due to retirements and the remaining two due to the handicap of having a low starting position because of the retirement of the preceding day. He took pole at Istanbul Park, however, and took two 2nd places at Monza, the first behind his fellow countryman Pantano. He came 2nd and 7th at Spa-Francorchamps, and in Valencia scored his first fastest lap on his way to 18th, a result which he converted to 6th in race 2 with a brilliant recovery drive.

2008 (ART, Arden)

Luca Filippi 2011 GP2 Helmet - Right Side

Races entered: 20
Races started: 20
Podiums: 1
Fastest laps: 0
Best qualifying result: 4th (x1)
Best feature race result: 8th (x2)
Best sprint race result: 3rd (x1)
Championship position: 19th
Points: 6

ART Grand Prix had driven Rosberg and Hamilton to the first GP2 driver titles, and Glock’s 2007 result had put an end to their domination. In Filippi they had found a fast driver, but his rookie team mate Grosjean beat him in the first 10 races, which Filippi concluded with a single 3rd place at Magny-Cours and an 8th place at Silverstone. At that point Grosjean, who had endured a mixed season, already had a win and a second place, so ART decided to drop Filippi and hired Yamamoto instead. The Japanese driver scored a fourth sprint race-position to score 3 points and proved no better than the driver he replaced.

Filippi, however, switched to Arden as a replacement for Yelmer Buurmann, the Dutch having scored only a second place – coincidentally, he was on the podium together with Filippi at Magny Cours. Buemi, his team mate, had scored a win and two more podiums, with another win about to come on his way to 6th in the standings. Filippi, on the other hand, only managed an 8th place in race 1 at the Valencia Street Circuit, and finished a miserable season with one point less than he had in his rookie season, but in the same position.

2009 (Super Nova)

Luca Filippi 2009 GP2 Helmet - Left Side

Races entered: 20
Races started: 20
Podiums: 4
Fastest laps: 3
Best qualifying result: 2nd (x1)
Best feature race result: 2nd (x2)
Best sprint race result: 1st (x1)
Championship position: 5th
Points: 40

Filippi returned to Super Nova and finished 4th in the first race, then 2nd four races after in Istanbul. After five more races of drought, he finished 6th and 2nd at the Hungaroring, scoring the fastest lap in race 2. 7th in Valencia preceded five retirements, one at the Spanish circuit, two at Spa and two at Monza. At Estoril he overturned his form and scored two fastest laps including 2nd and 1st in races 1 and two respectively, to finish the season on a high in 5th place, with 40 points.

2010 (Super Nova)

Luca Filippi 2012 GP2 Helmet - Right Side

Races entered: 10
Races started: 10
Podiums: 0
Fastest laps: 0
Best qualifying result: 11th (x2)
Best feature race result: 5th (x1)
Best sprint race result: 6th (x1)
Championship position: 20th
Points: 5

Despite, yet again, showing promise, his inconsistency was probably the factor which stopped him from being hired for 2010, even though he had finished second in GP2 Asia behind Davide Valsecchi. A seat became vacant after round 4 in Valencia when Josef Kral suffered a high-speed crash in which he was airborne after hitting the rear of Gonzalez, and was sent into the tyre barriers at full speed. The Czech driver had to sit out of the following five rounds to recover, and Filippi came in as a substitute. He continued Kral’s record of not scoring for the first five races, then scored one point in the Hungarian sprint race and four in the Belgian feature race, before being affected once again by bad luck on home soil and retiring in race 1 at Monza, which prevented him from going any better than 14 in the Sunday race. Kral returned to his car for the final Abu Dhabi round and scored in both races a total of three points to classify 24th in the standings, four positions behind Filippi.

2011 (Super Nova, Coloni)

Luca Filippi 2011 GP2 Helmet - Right Side

Races entered: 18
Races started: 18
Podiums: 5
Fastest laps: 5
Best qualifying result: 2nd (x4)
Best feature race result: 1st (x2)
Best sprint race result: 1st (x1)
Championship position: 2nd
Points: 54

With Kral moving to Arden and Ericsson moving to iSport, Super Nova rebuilt their driver line-up from scratch for 2011 and alongside returnee Fairuz Fauzy decided to field the now ultra-experienced Filippi. He never scored for them in the first 10 races apart from a brilliant weekend in Monaco in which he scored a 3rd and a 4th place.

In the meanwhile, Kevin Ceccon, hired by Coloni to replace the injured Davide Rigon, was underperforming and the Italian team asked their fellow countryman if he was available to switch team. Super Nova agreed and hired another returnee, Adam Carroll, who scored more points than Fauzy in half of the season, whilst Filippi debuted at the Nurburgring by qualifying second and winning with the fastest lap. Starting 8th on the reverse grid, he finished 3rd in the sprint race. After qualifying second again, he put in the fastest lap on course to 6th at the Hungaroring, but retired in race 2. He qualified 2nd yet again at Spa and finished fourth in race 1, but won race 2 with the fastest lap. He qualified second for the fourth time in a row at home, and this time finally won at Monza and, taking the fastest lap, put himself as a serious threat for the title of vice-champion. Jules Bianchi was running 3rd in race 2 and Filippi was only 5th, apparently handing the championship position to the Frenchman, but with a desperate lap Filippi became the fastest man of the race, and despite Bianchi’s attempts he couldn’t beat Filippi and take the two extra points off him, so Filippi finished on 54 points, one ahead of third-placed Bianchi.

In an incredible effort, Filippi also competed in Auto GP in 2011, and despite skipping two races finished only three points behind champion Ceccon, in second place.

2012 (Coloni)

Luca Filippi 2012 GP2 Helmet - Right Side

Races entered: 4
Races started: 3
Podiums: 1
Fastest laps: 0
Best qualifying result: 1st (x1)
Best feature race result: 1st (x1)
Best sprint race result: 22nd (x1)
Championship position: 16th
Points: 29

After failed attempts to move to IndyCar, Filippi was hired by Coloni for the final two rounds of the season to replace the underperforming Coletti. He qualified third at Monza and incredibly won, but bad luck and a puncture left him out of the points on Sunday.

He took the first ever GP2 pole around the Marina Bay circuit in Singapore but retired late in the race, the damage also preventing him from taking part in the sprint race. He had totalled 29 points, worth 16th place.

After GP2

Filippi commentated part of the 2012 IndyCar season alongside famous Italian journalist Carlo Vanzini, and followed him in a change to Formula 1 in 2013 to Sky as they took over full rights for the season from RAI. With his IndyCar dream not taking shape (he only started four races in 2014), he was often heard commentating the 2014 GP2 races alongside Will Buxton, and made an appearance during the podium interviews in place of the departing American.

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