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GP Week : Issue 25
> F1NEWS> GP2: Rivals want more gas! GP2 championship rivals Giorgio Pantano and Bruno Senna had an important brace of points robbed from them in Valencia, after they both ran out of fuel on the final lap of Saturday’s race. Pantano had been set for a dominant victory and fastest lap to add to his Friday pole position, until misfortune showed her hand with just a few corners of the race left to run. Senna’s iSport team-mate Karun Chandhok and BCN’s Carlos Iaconelli also ran out of fuel before the end of the race. GP2 cars use an FIA Standard Premier FT5 125 litre fuel tank, and run Saturday’s races to 175km. With GP2 fuel levels known to have been at their limit on the 5.419km street circuit, one of the longest tracks of the year, the teams 10 were permitted to refuel their cars on the grid. A source at Pantano’s Racing Engineering team told GPWeek that the issue over the capacity of the car’s fuel tank had been known for some time. “It’s like this at every race,”he fumed. “Change the engine mapping, take two laps off the race, just do something! What else should we do? Slow down? No way, we are racing. “It’s dangerous and the two championship rivals didn’t finish the race. We did a perfect race and now we look like shit. And for what?” The drivers, for their part, were slightly more philosophical in their outlook. “We knew about the problem with the fuel, and for that I left the pits and went straight to the grid, to be 100% sure to finish the race,”Pantano told GPWeek. “If I had known this would happen I would have driven a different way to try and save fuel, but unfortunately … “OK Senna didn’t score any points, but he’s always there. What can I do? What can I do? Imagine if the Safety Car had not come in when it did? I would have stopped three laps before the end of the race.” Senna admitted that Pantano’s joint failure to finish had alleviated some of the pain of losing out on points. “It’s not the worst result,”he told GPWeek. “If Pantano had won the race and I had finished fifth or whatever it would still be worse for the championship. In a certain aspect it’s bad not to have finished the race because of a fuel issue, but it’s not bad for the championship. “It [the fuel level] is tight everywhere. In every race we get quite close to the limit but here the problem is that when you leave the pits and do a warm up lap to the grid you use much more fuel than most places, so you’re already on the back foot. “The team told me to only do one, but I got confused on the last corner and I went in and did two warm up laps on automatic mode, and I suffered because of that. But I still think I would have run out of fuel because I ran out just after turn 14 so there were still plenty of corners to go and I just coasted the car as long as I could.”