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Mat Coch writes:
The Singapore Grand Prix teased Bruno Senna all weekend. Blessed with a fast car during practice, the Brazilian lost time when he tagged the wall.
In qualifying he repeated the offence, clouting the wall as the second phase of the hour long session got underway. The damage proved too much to continue, leaving Senna to watch the remainder of the action from the garage, having qualified seventeenth. As if to rub salt in the wounds Pastor Maldonado qualified the sister car on the front row. Things then got worse when the team decided the damage necessitated a gearbox change, dropping the 28-year-old Brazilian to the penultimate row of the grid.
Yet come Sunday evening Senna was one of the stars of the race, rocketing through the field with genuine pace. By the end of the first lap he'd moved from twenty-second to eighteenth. By the time he made his first pit-stop he was twelfth.
"We were overtaking and doing what we needed to do to come into the points," Senna explained after the race. "We had very good pace in the beginning."
The two safety cars played in Senna's favour, bunching the field and allowing the Brazilian to use his car's potential. And he did just that, at least until the final quarter of the race.
"Unfortunately about 16 laps to go my KERS failed," he revealed. "It stopped working for a few laps and then just failed."
The failure coincided with a tense battle with countryman Felipe Massa, the Ferrari driver pulling off a spectacular pass as the pair braked for turn thirteen. "I was trying to cover the inside but obviously he had much better traction out of the previous corner," Senna explained. "I touched his car but fortunately nothing happened to our cars and I already apologise to him. We're good."
From there Senna began to fall backwards. Struggling with his ailing car he was easy prey for Mark Webber, who sailed by shortly before the Williams stopped for good.
Despite the disappointment Senna wasn't too downbeat; perhaps encouraged by the stellar performance he turned in at a time when it matters. "I'm happy with the race I did today. Coming from twenty second to ninth position with a chance of scoring points in Singapore is pretty good."
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