Andrea Caldarelli in the season’s final round, – Race 1 resulting with a sad retire, Race 2 with P12 finish


15sf7race2-CAL1Round 7, series’ final race of the 2015 SUPER FORMULA Japanese championship series, “JAF GRAND PRIX SUZUKA” this weekend came upon the world’s famous F1 GP course representing this country. This one round was formatted on a 2-race system (In Race 1, tyre change is not mandatory, but Race 2 demands that there be a tyre change), therefore the Series’ champion was to be finally confirmed after these two sets of battles fought.


15sf7race1-CAL6This season, making entry with LENOVO TEAM IMPUL for the first time, Andrea Caldarelli unfortunately did not have the chance to join the battle for the title. But regardless, the 25 year old Italian arrived at the circuit this week, aspired to do his best to fight through this final race and finish the season without regret.





November 7th (SAT)



Though under cloudy skies, Saturday began with a rather warm (21 deg. C) morning. From 9:15am, official practice session got under way, and 19 machines went entering the track one after another. Andrea Caldarelli also got busy working on the setup of his machine LENOVO TEAM IMPUL SF14 (No. 20). However, just after pitting out and beginning his real push on the 15th lap in, Andrea got detracked on the Degner Curve (T9), which also cost a damage on the front section. Luckily, the driver was not injured, but the session finished before his being able to resume chances to go for further attempts.


15sf7race1-CAL2Soon it was 13:30, with temperatures being 20 deg. C and on the track, 22 deg. C at the time, Q1 (the 1st heat of the qualifying) began on the Knockdown style.

With quick machine repair done by the team, Andrea Caldarelli was able to join the field again, also on time. Running stably with a fair pace trying to improve the time, but unable to do so and with the time of 1’39.450, No. 20 positioned 17th on the grid for both Race 1 and Race 2 (based on overall results drawn after the Q2 and Q3 heats).



15sf7race1-CAL1Andrea Caldarelli

“Wasn’t such a great day today. This morning, as giving my utmost strong push, I could not fully control the machine … Then going on to Qualifying with machine setting still not as ready, did my attacks with new tyres but only ended up having a low grip. I’m going to have to start the race from a completely unsatisfactory position, but since rainy weather is forecasted, if in the Wet I might have good chances catching up from the back.”





November 8th (SUN) RACE



The Race Day opened up under rainy skies. Race 1 which started from 10:00am turned out to be under heavy-wet condition, with everyone trailing behind the Safety Car (for 2 laps).

Andrea Caldarelli on No. 20 was to kick off from P16, back row (but there was a machine given a demotion penalty to grid down, which raised LENOVO TEAM IMPUL SF14 to one grid position above). Because of water-screen created by machines going ahead, Andrea told through the radio that he “Can’t see anything ahead!” but anyway pushed onward nevertheless, gradually raising his pace. However, in the last half of the race on the 11th lap, and on the In-side 1st corner, machine rear on the right side got hit and coursed off! This did it all, and Andrea could not help but retire at this point in Race 1.


15sf7race2-CAL7Andrea Caldarelli:

“In the 8 minutes of warm-up before Start, I was pleased that the machine was running well, so too bad. Especially in my position, visibility was really poor, and all the rivals ahead also ran as trying to avoid water-screens so overtaking was risky. Daisuke (Nakajima) on No. 64 came on the In side, perhaps too optimistically. Sad that I had to be caught up in a racing accident ? it’s disappointing.”





The program moved on to Race 2 (as it turned out, everybody had to run on rain tyres, so tyre change was no longer compulsory for this race). Now the time was 15:00, and Race 1 turned into a heavy-wet condition. Coming from the formation lap, the machines got each of their standing-start grid and soon the red signals lit one by one. However, just at start, one of the machines had machine trouble, and ‘Start Delay’ was announced.


Due to this happening, the re-starting time for Race 2 was changed to 15:15, also the number of race laps was lessened from 28 to 27.


15sf7race2-CAL2As the signal blacked out, Andrea Caldarelli jumping out of grid position 17 had to go through some more uneasy laps again with pillars of water building up before him. Nonetheless, from the Start, the Italian driver on LENOVO TEAM IMPUL SF14 ran stably putting the machine under fine control. No. 20 managed on the early laps of the race staying in P17. In the beginning, there were a few scenes of down running in P18, but afterwards with other machines crashing or having troubles bad enough to leave the race, meanwhile Andrea delivered very steady laps, from time to time showing brave moves and overtaking. By the point of 5 laps to go, Andrea raised his position up to 12th, and with the chequer finished this last SUPER FORMULA race of the season in that position.



15sf7race2-CAL6Andrea Caldarelli

“Including Race 1 too, it rained heavy all day with bad visibility, also trying to catch up from behind, they were tough races. The team prepared a nice machine that can perform well in the Wet, and also considering the good speed we had, it is too bad we didn’t have better results in this last round.

This year Mr. Hoshino gave me this chance to return to top formula racing, and I am sincerely grateful to Mr. Hoshino and LENOVO TEAM IMPUL for everything. Things passed by quickly, but let me also thank everybody else for supporting me all throughout the season. Thank you very much.”