Racing Engineering and Giorgio Pantano have hit out at GP2 officials after seeing an almost certain victory slip through their grasp when the Italian ran out of fuel on the final lap of the feature race at Valencia.

Pantano was heading for a perfect result after taking the lead from pole position and pulling out a comfortable advantage over Vitaly Petrov during the course of the 34 lap race, while he was also heading towards an extra point for fastest lap.

Also destined to move one step closer towards the GP2 Series title with the win, Pantano's hopes were dramatically dashed on the final lap when his car began to slow dramatically.

Overtaken by those directly behind, Pantano would eventually be forced to park up two corners from home with an empty fuel tank.

Although Senna also failed to finish with the same problem, Racing Engineering principal Alfonso de Orleans Borbon was livid with the GP2 officials, who he believes should have reduced the length of the race slightly in accordance with fears over fuel consumption.

"I am highly disappointed by GP2 in regards to the race length, which could have been shortened by one lap. Our rules do not permit us to refill during the race and we already did everything we could to reduce the fuel consumption. It's a real shame as we lost 11 very precious points today.

"Nevertheless I want to thank all the team and Giorgio for the great job they did. It was a great race, but destroyed by the fact of improper calculations beyond our scope."

Pantano, meanwhile, was also furious with the situation, adding that he completed no unnecessary laps and so can't put his finger on his high fuel consumption other than his scintillating race speed.

"We did our best today and I still can't believe what has happened. Everybody knew about the fuel consumption problem. We didn't pass through the pit lane, but went straight to the grid. We didn't do any practice start and also had a safety car.

"It is actually impossible to realise that we didn't finish the race. It is really unbelievable what has happened today. And I am not just talking about myself, but also others. Do 32 instead of 34 laps, if you know about this problem. We did a perfect race and not only did I lose the win, but also the point for fastest lap."

Senna, on the other hand, was relitively phlegmatic at the situation, despite the fact that he too lost a considerable amount of points when he coasted across the line in ninth.

"These things happen. I was really happy with my pace in the opening stages of the race - I pulled off several strong passing moves, settled into a good rhythm and things were going well.

"I had no warning at all about the fuel problem. If the engine had spluttered during the previous lap I'd have backed off, because I had plenty in hand over the next car, but it cut very suddenly and that was that.

"I'm not too despondent, though: Giorgio and I both suffered the same problem, the title race remains wide open and I'm confident I can score a good result [on Sunday]. It will be hard work from ninth on the grid, but it's achievable."

Pantano continues to lead the standings by nine points from Senna.