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Win apiece for Pantano, Senna at Silverstone.


GP2 Series pacesetters Giorgio Pantano and Bruno Senna again marked themselves out as the men to beat as far as this year's championship is concerned, taking a win apiece in tricky circumstances at Silverstone's British Grand Prix meeting.

Senna took the pole in Friday's qualifying session, narrowing the gap between himself and Pantano after the Italian had retaken the advantage at Magny-Cours, but his good work was undone within a handful of laps as he slithered wide at Stowe and lost several places. The Brazilian also surrendered a position during his mandatory tyre stop, and found himself mired in one of the most entertaining battles of the season to date as duelled over fourth place with ART's Romain Grosjean and Arden's Sebastien Buemi.

The scrap went on into the final lap, with the trio having twice gone through the Becketts section three-abreast, before Senna thought he had done enough to secure fifth position. However, another mistake as they headed into the 'stadium' section handed the initiative back to Grosjean and the Brazilian had to settle for sixth.

“I think we made one or two incorrect choices with today's set-up," Senna said of his preparations with the iSport team, "My car was quite tricky to drive at the start and a gust of wind helped push me wide at Stowe on lap four.

"It was just too easy to make mistakes. My battle in the race's closing stages was great fun, but my tyres were finished by then. Overall, though, I'm not too disappointed. Given the problems I encountered, I'm happy to have scored a few points.”

Senna's situation was made worse by the fact that Pantano produced possibly the race of the year to come from fifth on the grid to claim his third win of the year - and a record-breaking eighth for his GP2 career.

The Racing Engineering pilot made a great getaway from the inside of row three, immediately gaining a place as a slow-starting Grosjean caused Andi Zuber to lift. Senna's mistake then gifted him another position, but Pantano found himself losing time to new leader Lucas di Grassi as he became embroiled in a head-to-head with the recovering Grosjean, with Senna never too far away.

The leaders were all on a similar pit-stop strategy, but Pantano clearly had the better car when the resumed and, despite being denied one passing opportunity by an abandoned car at Vale, seized the smallest of chances to pass Grosjean when the Frenchman left a minute gap at the Abbey chicane. It was barely a car wide, but Pantano dived down the inside, the two cars rubbing wheels before the Racing Engineering emerged in second.

He was now 3.7secs behind leader di Grassi, but Pantano quickly began to close the gap and, on lap 30, was right behind the Brazilian as the cars exited the Becketts complex. Having slipstreamed his rival down the length of the Hangar Straight, Pantano feinted to the left and, as di Grassi covered the move, darted back to the right to take the lead in a move reminiscent of Nigel Mansell's on Nelson Piquet in the 1987 British Grand Prix. With the Italian clearly faster, the contest was finished.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Giorgio Pantano - Racing Engineering   [pic credit: GP2 Series]
Bruno Senna - iSport International   [pic credit: GP2 Series]
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) in action at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Saturday 5 July 2014. (Photo: Ebrey/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) celebrates in parc fermé at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Sunday 6 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) celebrates on the podium at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Sunday 6 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin), Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) & Johnny Cecotto (VEN, Trident) celebrate on the podium at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Sunday 6 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) celebrates his win on the podium at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England. Sunday 6 July. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) , Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Carlin) and Nick Yelloly (GBR, Status Grand Prix) on the podium after race two at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England. Sunday 6 July. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Saturday 5 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) in action at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Friday 4 July 2014. (Photo: Jakob Ebrey/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) celebrates after winning GP3 race 1 at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Saturday 5 July 2014. (Photo: Adam Warner/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) celebrates after winning GP3 race 1 at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Saturday 5 July 2014. (Photo: Adam Warner/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) celebrates after winning GP3 race 1 at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Saturday 5 July 2014. (Photo: Adam Warner/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Saturday 5 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP), leads Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) & Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) into turn 1 in the first GP3 race of the weekend at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Saturday 5 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Mitch Evans (NZL, RT RUSSIAN TIME) celebrates his win at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Saturday 5 July 2014. (Photo: Adam Warner/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Mitch Evans (NZL, RT RUSSIAN TIME) celebrates his win on the podium with 2nd position Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) and 3rd position Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Saturday 5 July 2014. (Photo: Adam Warner/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Mitch Evans (NZL, RT RUSSIAN TIME) Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Friday 4 July 2014. (Photo: Adam Warner/GP2 Series Media Service.)

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