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GP Week : Issue 12
BRUNO Senna was the name on everyone’s lips in Monaco following his breathtaking victory in the first GP2 race of the weekend on the streets of Monte Carlo. His former British F3 team-mate Mike Conway, pictured inset, made up for his 2007 embarrassments in the Principality, when he’d finished the race facing backwards after spinning on his exit from the pits, in Race 2 with a dominant win from pole position, his first victory in the series. Qualifying had been the Pastor Maldonado show. The Venezuelan loves Monaco and took pole in a similarly emphatic fashion to that which he had bagged 12 months previously. But at the start of the race it was the fast-starting second placed Bruno Senna who emerged from Ste Devote in the lead. As usual, GP2 produced its fair share of smashes. The most severe was Sebastien Buemi’s idiotic lunge at championship leader Giorgio Pantano into Mirabeau. The Italian was spun around and blocked the track, and the resultant melee saw almost the entire field either taken out or sat in a queue. Senna arrived on the scene and picked his way past the cars which he was now lapping, but despite a fear of passing under yellows, the FIA passed his moves as legal. The Brazilian held the lead from Maldonado all the way to the flag, but the two drivers were light years ahead of their rivals. Third placed man Mike Conway hardly saw them again, but plugged away to set a consistent pace for an easy podium … or at least what should have been an easy podium, for on the final lap he was punted out by the lapped Javier Villa. Conway was furious, but nevertheless was classified eighth, picking up a point and pole for Sunday, while Karun Chandhok picked up third place. The second race came about on a damp but drying track. And it was, unfortunately, possibly one of the dullest GP2 races ever. One could expect little more on a track at which there are few real overtaking opportunities and in a race with no pit-stops. Conway, for his part, was in a league of his own. He simply flew around the track, and might have finished the race over a minute ahead of second placed Ho Pin Tung, so fast was he running, had not the Safety Car been deployed twice. Tung was solid and immovable in second and held on for a joyous debut podium in GP2. Barcelona winner Alvero Parent finished third, with Senna picking up more points in fifth. The results leave Pantano and Senna tied at the top of the championship on 24 points, with Grosjean and Parente tied for third on 19. GP2: Senna, Conway the stars 30