… but title slips beyond reach - Brazilian storms from 12th to fifth in tricky conditions
Bruno Senna put in one of the drives of the race in yesterday’s GP2 Series feature event at Monza, Italy.
Starting 12th on a circuit coated in standing water, the Brazilian gained four places on the opening lap and gradually worked his way towards the leading group. He was one of the first drivers to plump for dry tyres, on lap 21, and the timing of his pit call was perfect.
Once the stops were over he emerged in fifth place – although he later went skittering down the chicane after making a last-ditch effort to wrest fourth from Romain Grosjean. He rejoined the circuit without losing any positions.
Fine drive though it was, though, his title challenge is over. There are only seven points at stake in tomorrow’s finale and season-long rival Giorgio Pantano has done just enough to put the championship beyond reach.It remains a remarkable statistic that Senna has remained in title contention all season in a series as tough as GP2. He has been racing cars for little more than four years and Pantano has been competing at this level since 2001…
“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.
“The decision to stop 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.
“The move on Grosjean was worth the risk, because I knew I needed a couple more points to keep the title race alive. 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.”