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Grosjean wins Spa feature.

Romain Grosjean finally clinched another win in the GP2 Series but, once again, the biggest story of the race surrounded the title contenders and their apparent desire to make winning the championship as hard as possible.

Bruno Senna and Giorgio Pantano found themselves running 1-2 behind the safety car called for Davide Valsecchi's second massive accident of the season, but the Brazilian's position was provisional pending a drive-thru for a dangerous release from his mandatory pit-stop and Pantano then suffered a bizarre engine problem while running in traffic that dropped him out of the points.

Senna ensuing penalty dropped him to 24th and last of the remaining runners, but the drama and incident was not over, as the recovering Pantano, having fought back into the points, contrived to spin at La Source after putting a wheel on the wet inside kerb, dropping back to tenth as championship outsider Lucas di Grassi took avoiding action.

No doubt angry at throwing away Sunday's pole position with his indiscretion, Pantano was determined to regain his place in the top eight when the second safety car - for the stranded Alberto Valerio - returned to the pits. However, the red mist before his eyes appeared to blind the Italian veteran to the presence of di Grassi ahead of Roldan Rodriguez, who he was trying to pass at La Source, and the pair made heavy contact, sidelining the Brazilian and badly damaging the front of the Racing Engineering machine.

More importantly, however, the wait for the rest of the field to pass the scene, dropped the hobbled Pantano to the back of the field, eventually leaving him 22nd at the flag. In the mayhem, however, Senna had regained enough places to be classified twelfth, and therefore ten places ahead of his rival for the start of Sunday's sprint - even before Pantano visits the stewards to discuss an incident with Diego Nunes and, presumably, that with di Grassi, that could drop him to the very back of the grid.

Despite the short space of time since Formula One qualifying, the GP2 race was forced to start behind the safety car after a typical Ardennes deluge soaked the track and forced some frantic rethinking in the pits.

Once the field was released at the start of lap three, however, polewinner Senna eased away from the pack behind him, as Alvaro Parente, Grosjean and Pantano followed in line astern. Pastor Maldonado was not about to hang around, though, passing Andy Soucek for seventh before La Source and forcing the Spaniard to also yield to Vitaly Petrov.

It only took a lap on the unpredictable surface - where the second sector was a lot drier than the main straight - before an incident reduced the number of runners. Rookie Carlos Iaconelli lost control on the short straight to Malmedy, rotating into the gravel and forcing Sakon Yamamoto to take avoiding action that dropped him to the back of the pack.

Maldonado's momentum lasted just over a lap before Petrov picked him off at La Source, and the Russian then added Mike Conway to his list of victims as he continued to rise up the order.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Romain Grosjean - ART Grand Prix   [pic credit: GP2 Series]
Gustav Malja F2 2017
Nobuharu Matsushita - ART Grand Prix [credit: Formula 2]
Charles Leclerc - PREMA Racing
Charles Leclerc, Prema Racing, F2, Formula 2, Bahrain
Charles Leclerc - PREMA Racing
Charles Leclerc - PREMA Racing
Artem Markelov, F2, Bahrain
Artem Markelov
Norman Nato, Bahrain F2 2017, Formula 2
Charles Leclerc, Prema Racing, Formula 2, 2017
Nabil Jeffri, Team Trident [Credit: Team Trident]
Alexander Albon - ART Grand Prix [GP2 Series]
Gustav Malja - Racing Engineering [credit: GP2 Series]
Pierre Gasly - PREMA Racing
Alex Lynn - DAMS
Pierre Gasly - PREMA Racing
Pierre Gasly - PREMA Racing

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Jes - Unregistered

September 06, 2008 4:45 PM

[sarcasm]Pity Bruno Senna wasn''t driving for Ferrari[/sarcasm], as the sports inconsistancy with penalties could well have seen his title hopes curtailed. The drive thru penalty, whilst he was on his way to a (likely) win, was harsh to say the least. There was a similar pit (non) incident at Silverstone in GP2 that went unpenalised. *Roman''s win elevates him to third behind Pantano & Senna, with just 3 races left. Should make for an interesting chase, as long as the stewards don''t interfere anymore :)

miniman - Unregistered

September 06, 2008 8:51 PM

there MUST be some common parameters. there must be some legistlation for the teams to take the blame. they release the drivers. senna was in no way to blame as far as i can see. massa had the same problem in his last race. it's the lollipop/brake man who determines it. the driver should not be penalised. if he is, then massa was as much to blame as senna, etc. one set of rules, please in the future.

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