GP2: Sodden Senna slithers to sprint success

By Andy Darley

CalendarSunday, July 6th, 2008

 
 

GP2’s usual off-road action was ramped up by a rain-sodden Silverstone circuit – and it was Bruno Senna who made hay while the sun failed to shine.

After a scrappy feature race yesterday, the Brazilian atoned by grabbing the lead on the first lap and going on to win by a comfortable 8.5 seconds while behind him the rest of the field struggled.

Only once did the treacherous conditions threaten to upset his poise, when on the final lap he slowed behind a backmarker, was nearly rammed by a car he’d just lapped, and lost five seconds.

Compared with some of the chaos unwinding behind him that was strictly minor league stuff.

No sooner had pole-sitter Luca Filippi lost the lead to Senna than he surrendered second to Lucas di Grassi by coming off at Brooklands. Yesterday’s winner Giorgio Pantano charged up through the field to third – but came off onto the grass at Vale, pitching him into a battle with Brit Mike Conway who’d also made up a lot of ground in the early stages.

Andy Soucek lost a shot at fifth going off while fighting Vitaly Petrov – and Kamui Kobayashi lost sixth on the final lap when a lapped Adrian Valles span in front of him. Kobayashi could not avoid hitting him, then Pastor Maldonado arrived to make it a three car party.

Those three drivers were all classified – unlike no fewer than 11 cars that all failed to make it far enough.

Senna’s victory confirmed him in second place in the championship behind Pantano, who minimised the damage by hanging on to third place behind di Grassi and ahead of Conway who faded suddenly in the closing stages. A last-lap Vitaly Petrov spin kept him firmly back in fifth, while Davide Valsecchi was able to sneak past Kobayashi for sixth as he limped back to the pits on three wheels.

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