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Coletti scores maiden Euro Series win

Stefano Coletti, F3 Euro Series, Hockenheim 2009Stefano Coletti took his maiden F3 Euro Series victory in the season-opening race at Hockenheim on Saturday.

The Prema Powerteam driver, who had been set for pole position until a late charge from Sam Bird, snatched the lead into the first corner and was never headed from there.

He opened out a solid lead in the early stages and resisted a late comeback from Roberto Merhi to hang on for the win.

Merhi took second after a charging first lap, where he moved up from fourth on the grid in the first few corners. He was pushed all the way for second by Bird, who tried on several occasions to get around the rookie.

But Bird had to settle for the final step on the podium, comfortably ahead of Mika Maki. The Finn ran behind Jules Bianchi early on, but he passed the title favourite four fourth at the hairpin on lap seven and pulled away after that.

Bianchi took a lonely fifth ahead of Jean-Karl Vernay and Christian Vietoris, while Atte Mustonen took eighth and pole position for Sunday's race for series newcomer Motopark Academy.

Mustonen had lost several places with a bad start, but he worked his way back up to ninth and then gained another place when Henkie Waldschmidt suffered mechanical problems with two laps to go, costing him seventh place.

Pos Driver                  Team          Car            Gap
 1. Stefano Coletti         Prema         D/M     25m20.955s
 2. Roberto Merhi           Manor         D/M         +1.070
 3. Sam Bird                Mucke         D/M         +1.534
 4. Mika Maki               Signature     D/V         +3.249
 5. Jules Bianchi           ART           D/M         +7.838
 6. Jean-Karl Vernay        Signature     D/V        +11.234
 7. Christian Vietoris      Mucke         D/M        +13.329
 8. Atte Mustonen           Motopark      D/M        +19.172
 9. Matteo Chinosi          Prema         D/M        +23.260
10. Tiago Geronimi          Signature     D/V        +24.697
11. Robert Wickens          Kolles        D/V        +27.520
12. Marco Wittmann          Mucke         D/M        +28.072
13. Adrien Tambay           ART           D/M        +34.406
14. Christopher Zanella     Motopark      D/M        +35.686
15. Andrea Caldarelli       SG            D/M        +36.851
16. Esteban Gutierrez       ART           D/M        +38.328
17. Alexander Sims          Mucke         D/M        +44.802
18. Carlo van Dam           Kolles        D/V        +45.733
19. Brendon Hartley         Carlin        D/V        +48.915
20. Pedro Henrique          Manor         D/M      +1m02.299
21. Johnny Cecotto Jr       HBR           D/M         +1 lap
22. Casar Ramos             Manor         D/M        +3 laps


    Henkie Waldschmidt      SG            D/M        14 laps
    Basil Shaaban           Prema         D/M        14 laps
    Alexandre Marsoin       SG            D/M        12 laps
    Jake Rosenzweig         Carlin        D/V         8 laps
    Kevin Mirocha           HBR           D/M         2 laps
    Valtteri Bottas         ART           D/M          1 lap

Fastest lap, Sims 1:34.174 on lap 6
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