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GP Week : Issue 20
F1 NEWS >> GP2 Championship leader Giorgio Pantano had a weekend of contrasting fortunes in Germany. After seeing rival Romain Grosjean stripped of his race one win, the Italian made it a clean sweep from the first race with the win, fastest lap and pole position. Sunday’s race proved somewhat more difficult for the Italian however, as after a good start he was forced to retire with a broken steering column after an unfortunate accident with Andy Soucek. “Yeah I’m disappointed today because we did a good start and after the first lap we were fourth,” he told GPWeek. “Unfortunately we had a misunderstanding with Soucek because I just spoke to him after the race and he told me he wanted to run in a bit further and cut the corner to get more speed on the exit because he’d seen di Grassi and Chandhok do it. I went on the inside to take my normal line and in the end he closed the corner and I was there. We had a soft contact and the steering column was broken.” Overall Pantano had a good weekend however, and extended his championship lead over Bruno Senna to 15 points. “It makes me so happy because we did a great result yesterday with pole position and fastest lap. I can’t ask for more. We were just unlucky today.” Contrasting luck for leader KARUN Chandhok has pointed to his first GP2 win of 2008 as a potential turning point in his season. The Indian had suffered a run of five straight Sunday races without scoring a point in 2008, but in Germany the iSport driver put in an assured performance, soaking up race- long pressure from Andi Zuber to take a deserved win. “It was five zeros in a row in Sunday races and I was really beginning to wonder whether I should bother waking up on Sunday,” he told GPWeek. “Today just worked perfectly. The car was mega, the team are just fantastic and I really, really love working with these guys. It was a great race and not easy. Zuber was always within a second and the pressure was on. He’s got good pace here and Bruno [Senna] was right behind him so I had to keep the pressure on right the way through. I think I drove a good race with no real mistakes.” Chandhok admitted the team had always had the pace to compete but had lost out due to misfortune and error. “It’s more a relief rather than anything else. In Asia we lost at least three potential wins for stupid incidents, so it’s nice to get a win under our belt. We can build on this. We’ve had pace all year, that’s never been the problem, we’ve just had too many DNFs and that’s been the problem really. But hey, ho. Onwards and upwards.” With Giorgio Pantano and Chandhok’s team-mate Bruno Senna leading the title race, Chandhok has admitted that he will be aiming for the third spot in the title race. “I think Pants is too far up the road and maybe Bruno is a little bit out of reach. Certainly third place is up for grabs. I’m eight points behind Grosjean so bring on Hungary!” Chandhok relieved with first ’08 win 10