Bruno Senna has kept himself firmly in contention for the GP2 Series title on the back of a double top-four finish in the latest rounds of the season at Hockenheim.
The iSport International man took fourth place in the feature race and a podium in the sprint event which leaves him 15 points behind points leader Giorgio Pantano with six rounds of the campaign now run.
The Brazilian had qualified in sixth place on the grid for the feature race but moved up to fifth on the start and then took fourth with a bold move on Lucas di Grassi following his mandatory pit stop on lap twelve. Senna then set about challenging Sebastien Buemi for a place on the podium but when rain started falling, he was forced to pit for wet tyres and instead had to settle for retaining fourth place.
“The rain made things very, very difficult at the end, although I did quite enjoy the challenge,” he said. “The team decided to gamble on a switch to wets and I think it was the right call, but we just needed a few more laps to gain maximum advantage.
“In the end, I'm pretty sure I'd have finished on the podium if conditions had remained dry. It was frustrating to be stuck behind di Grassi for so long, because I was potentially much faster and being bottled behind him caused my front tyres to suffer. Consequently, the car didn't feel quite as good once I'd worked my way past him, but I was still quicker than Buemi and was fairly sure I'd be able to take third. But then it rained…”
Senna made a poor start to the sprint race to lose positions off the line but he soon started to make his way back up the order to climb into third place behind team-mate Karun Chandhok and Piquet Sport's Andreas Zuber, although he didn't have the time to try and get ahead of the pair to secure victory.
“I made a bad start and that meant things were tough for the first few laps, because I had to fight my way past quite a few cars,” he said. “I was pushing hard, trying to force others into errors, and that took its toll on my tyres. Once I had worked my way up to third I backed off for a couple of laps, to stabilise tyre pressures, and then I attacked again in an effort to catch the first two.
“I could see that Zuber had a few tyre problems, but I had to make sure I didn't do anything that would compromise my own chances – your front tyres always suffer when you are following another car closely. If the race had lasted another couple of laps I think I could probably have taken second, but I'll settle for another good, solid result that keeps me in the thick of the championship battle.”