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GP Week : Issue 22
>>F1HUNGARY GP2: di Grassi, Buemi share wins LUCAS di Grassi and Sebastien Buemi took the two GP2 race wins on offer in Hungary, but on a weekend when championship contenders Romain Grosjean and Giorgio Pantano both faltered, Bruno Senna’s double podium result has seen him move to within seven points of the Italian with three rounds of the 2008 championship remaining. Grosjean had taken his first pole position of 2008 on Friday with an imperfect lap, but the ominous adding together of his best sectors suggested that had he got the whole lap hooked up he would have been almost half a second clear of his nearest rival. Beating him was going to be tough. But at the start of race one, the Swiss driver was swamped by faster starting cars. Fellow RDD driver di Grassi, main pic, made another of his trademark lightening starts, and shot into the lead followed by his team-mate Vitaly Petrov and Andi Zuber. Behind them Grosjean was struggling and looked to be having a nightmare struggle for grip. He slid wide at turn four, and as Pantano flew past him around the outside of turn five, Grosjean failed to concede the lost position and pushed the Italian into a spin. The Italian would recover but spent the rest of the afternoon at the mid to rear of the field. Grosjean pitted on the third lap for new tyres, but would have to stop again as GP2 regulations state that all tyre changes must be made after the sixth lap. With Petrov sliding wide and allowing Zuber up into second, the Austrian pitted on lap 14 and di Grassi followed suit a lap later. After a brilliant outlap, Zuber was now right on di Grassi’s rear wing. He stayed there for the whole race, with clearly the faster car but no way past the Brazilian who made his car as wide as possible. Di Grassi held on for his first win of 2008 ahead of Zuber, while Bruno Senna fought through from eighth on the grid for third at the flag after Petrov’s gearbox expired. Karun Chandhok finished a fine fourth ahead of Pastor Maldonado who had driven a brilliant race from last on the grid. Conway was sixth, Buemi, pictured inset, seventh and Soucek eighth for reverse pole. At the off on Sunday Soucek took the lead and sped off with Buemi in hot pursuit. Di Grassi had another belting start and sat on third-placed Conway’s rear wing, but after getting slightly crossed up under braking, couldn’t avoid tagging the Brit into a spin. Di Grassi took third place but was later handed a drive-through penalty for his troubles. All that left Maldonado in a brilliant podium spot, but dire luck curtailed his race before its conclusion and handed the final podium place to Senna. At the front Buemi caught and passed Soucek to record his second sprint win of 2008, while behind the podium finishers Sakon Yamamoto held his nerve for a brilliant fourth ahead of Pantano and Villa. Di Grassi recovered to finish tenth and a point for fastest lap. As the highest 29 scorer of the weekend his 11 points takes him above Grosjean to sit third in the championship on 39 points, with Senna second on 58 and Pantano still leading with a slightly increased tally of 65. Next up is the new street circuit in Valencia, at which a number of GP2 drivers contested a GT race in the week before the Hungarian Grand Prix. It’s all to play for, and the championship could go either way.