Senna storms to fifth. but Pantano does enough to clinch title
iSport driver Bruno Senna needed to produce a stirring drive to keep his GP2 title hopes alive at Monza today. The Brazilian did just that, rising from 12th to fifth as track conditions changed from ultra-wet to dry, but his splendid efforts were in vain as far as the title was concerned. Long- time points leader Giorgio Pantano threw away a probable win after receiving a drive-through penalty, for leaving the pit exit lane prematurely, but he did just enough to become the fourth GP2 champion.
Karun Chandhok drove a strong race in the early laps, but after conceding a place to his team-mate he lost ground when he was forced into a spin at the first chicane. He eventually finished 11th.
"Given where I started I had to be aggressive - although the tricky conditions didn't really favour such an approach. Our car was good no matter whether it was wet or dry, so I was as bold as I felt I could be without risking any silly mistakes.
"Our decision to stop early for slicks paid off, but it was very slippery when I first rejoined. The fact I made the change early enabled me to build up tyre pressures and temperatures before anyone else, though, and several cars were easy prey when they came back out just ahead of me. I tried to take fourth from Romain Grosjean a couple of laps from the end, but there was no way through and I had to go down the escape road at the first chicane. I needed a couple more points to keep the title race alive, so it was a chance worth taking. I genuinely believe we should have won this championship, but one or two bits of bad luck have made the difference. I will now endeavour to end the campaign on a winning note tomorrow. Given that this is only my fourth season of car racing, I can't be unhappy that I've stayed in title contention throughout the season, because this is a very tough series."
"The car felt very good when I was running seventh, early on, but I knew Bruno was behind me and I let him pass. He was fighting for the title so I didn't see any sense in us battling for seventh. It looked as though I'd be able to score some useful points, but after we stopped for dries I dived down the inside of Davide Valsecchi at the first chicane and he squeezed me right across onto a part of the track that was still quite damp. I was a passenger and ended up flying through the gravel. I was able to rejoin and the car still felt OK, but after that any chance of a good result was over."