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Bruni, Coloni Comment on Rift

Gianmaria Bruni has advised that the reason he didn't race with Coloni Motorsport at his home race last weekend was because he wanted to race with rivals Durango, ahead of an effort by his manager to form a new GP2 team for next year

Bruni put out a press release at the conclusion of race two in Monza stating that he had reached an agreement with Durango to race for the weekend, but the team competed with their regular pairing of  Ferdinando Monfardini and Clivio Piccione.

Bruni's manager, Maurizio Salvadori, is believed to be putting together a third Italian team to join the series next year, based in Milan and called Tridente Racing. Salvadori, who is principally a music industry manager, has approached a number of contacts in that industry to join him in the endeavour.

Bruni's statement noted: "During Turkish Grand Prix we announced to terminate (sic) with Coloni team and with a formal letter we confirmed our intention. We then reached an agreement with Durango for the remaining races of the season.

"Coloni team decided to enter Gian Maria Bruni as the official driver for the Italian Grand Prix even after a formal interruption of the agreement.

"For this reason, Gian Maria Bruni could not race and three minutes before the end of Sporting Scrutineer Coloni nominated a new drive, Toni Vilander."

On the issue of why the split took place, Bruni's statement advised: "I would like to underline the mistakes made by the team during the season, which caused the lack of my performance in the last ten races.

"I think technical situation and the way the team was managed is clearly easy to understand for everybody."

When asked for a comment on the press release put out by his former driver, Coloni team principal Paolo Coloni stated: "To be honest, I believe that if we had in GP2 the deposit of the Driver's Team contracts like in Formula One, all of this cinema [drama] would not have happened.

"I thought that we had a gentleman's agreement between the teams not to take each other's drivers like in Formula 3000, but it looks like Durango does not care.

"But I would say that Gimmi already had a contract, for the full season, with my team. Coloni Motorsport takes their contracts very seriously, and we believe that our partners should too.

"We invested a lot in the GP2 team; we supported part of the driver's budget this year, and investing a lot in development. That's why we secured the services of [Sergio] Rinland and other engineers for the full season, because we like to win!"

With respect to the driver line up for Spa, Coloni noted: "If Gimmi wants to go to another team then I wish him luck, but at the moment there is a problem that he already owes us money for earlier in the year.

"I was also surprised to hear that Gimmi feels there were mistakes made, since his management obliged us to not talk directly to him and that he wanted only to talk with his engineer, which means that we were not able to help him to perform as well as he can.

"It is a fact that his teammate Mathias [Lauda] had no such problems, and was in fact as fast as Gimmi in the last few races.

"And, of course, Toni [Vilander] was able to set the second fastest lap of the race without any experience in the car before, so I think that the team is doing something right."

Vilander will race for Coloni in Spa, although he may have to sit out the Bahrain round due to a clash with his Italian Formula 3000 commitments.

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