GP2

Monaco: Series race one report

Senna wins Monaco Senna holds off Maldonado for victory Bruno Senna has written his name into the history books by claiming victory in race one today in Monaco, holding on despite race long pressure from Pastor Maldonado to take ...

Senna wins Monaco

Senna holds off Maldonado for victory

Bruno Senna has written his name into the history books by claiming victory in race one today in Monaco, holding on despite race long pressure from Pastor Maldonado to take the win, with teammate Karun Chandhok joining the pair on the podium after Mike Conway was tapped into a spin on the final lap.

The victory was set up at the start when the Venezuelan made a slow start while his rival got away perfectly, slotting in front into Ste Devote for a lead that he would hold for the remainder of the race bar one lap for pitstops, while Maldonado forcefully closed the door on Conway as they headed up the hill ahead of Adrian Valles, Karun Chandhok, Romain Grosjean and Giorgio Pantano.

With no one in front of him Senna reeled off a string of fastest laps, and Maldonado was the only man able to deal with his pace as the pair left the rest of the field standing, who had to resort to a variety of different pit strategies and hope for the best. But when the lead pair came in a lap apart, with Senna first on lap 20, any chance of a miracle seemed to have evaporated.

But then the mayhem came. Buemi stuck his nose inside Pantano at Mirabeau, a position into which it had no right to be: the pair collided and Pantano was spun around and stopped, with Buemi retiring almost immediately after losing his rear wing, while Grosjean and Ho-Pin Tung also came together, with the Frenchman breaking his suspension for his troubles. The resultant traffic jam blocked the circuit: Senna and Maldonado were somehow able to thread the needle when they came back around, while everyone else had to try and find their own way through the mess.

It brought the battle for the lead to a fever pitch, with the pair swapping fastest laps as they pushed each other to the limit and beyond while the pitlane held its collective breath and waited. And at the end it was Senna who came out on top, taking the win by just 0.6 seconds from Maldonado along with the fastest lap of the race, while Conway lost a well deserved third on the last lap when he was tapped into a spin at the chicane by Javier Villa, who was a lap down after the earlier melee.

The spin handed a podium finish to Chandhok, who survived his own fierce battle with Valles to take the spot, ahead of Alvaro Parente, Roldan Rodriguez, Ho-Pin Tung and Conway, who claimed the final points position and tomorrow's pole as everyone else had lost a lap in the confusion at Mirabeau. But back in the pitlane all eyes were on Senna, whose chest filled with pride as the Brazilian national anthem was played before he was allowed to drench his team in champagne.

-credit: gp2series.com

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Karun Chandhok , Mike Conway , Bruno Senna , Javier Villa