GP2 Pit penalty deprives Senna

Brazilian leads from pole… until fate intervenes

After showing a scintillating turn of speed during Friday’s rain-lashed GP2 qualifying session at Spa, Bruno Senna continued where he left off when yesterday’s race began in similar conditions. Officials opted to start the race behind a Safety Car – and when the field was unleashed Senna immediately pulled clear of the pursuing pack.

The circuit began to dry fairly quickly and the Brazilian pitted for slick tyres on lap six. Strategically his timing was perfect, but he rejoined just as a slower rival was coming into the pits behind him. Senna kept clear of the other car and soon regained the race lead, but stewards handed him a drive-through penalty because they ruled that he had rejoined the race in an inappropriate manner – a charge Senna denied. That dropped him to the tail of the 26-car field, but he fought back to finish 12th. The two points he earned for pole position have, however, allowed him to close the gap to championship leader Giorgio Pantano, who leads by 11 points.

Bruno Senna

“The car was really good again today, in both wet and dry conditions, and without the penalty I’m confident this would have been another victory. I got away well when the race began, on lap three, and felt very comfortable in the damp conditions. As for the penalty, I got a bit of wheelspin when the team sent me back out and that allowed the incoming car to get quite close. I did everything I could to rejoin in a safe manner, by keeping out of the other guy’s way, and I really don’t feel the team or I did anything wrong. Once a decision has been made, though, you have to accept it and move on.

“The car felt fine as I was fighting back through the field, but in the end I just ran out of time. We should have been within one point of Pantano after today, but instead the gap is 11. That makes the final three races more difficult in terms of the championship, but I’m not giving up. It is still there to be won.”