iSport International - Bruno Senna (5th) Karun Chandhok (11th)
iSport driver Bruno Senna needed to produce a stirring drive to keep his GP2 title hopes alive at Monza today. The Brazilian did just that, rising from 12th to fifth as track conditions changed from ultra-wet to dry, but his splendid efforts were in vain as far as the title was concerned. Long-time points leader Giorgio Pantano threw away a probable win after receiving a drive-through penalty, for leaving the pit exit lane prematurely, but he did just enough to become the fourth GP2 champion.
Karun Chandhok drove a strong race in the early laps, but after conceding a place to his team-mate he lost ground when he was forced into a spin at the first chicane. He eventually finished 11th.
Bruno Senna: "Given where I started I had to be aggressive - although the tricky conditions didn't really favour such an approach. Our car was good no matter whether it was wet or dry, so I was as bold as I felt I could be without risking any silly mistakes.
"Our decision to stop early for slicks paid off, but it was very slippery when I first rejoined. The fact I made the change early enabled me to build up tyre pressures and temperatures before anyone else, though, and several cars were easy prey when they came back out just ahead of me. I tried to take fourth from Romain Grosjean a couple of laps from the end, but there was no way through and I had to go down the escape road at the first chicane. I needed a couple more points to keep the title race alive, so it was a chance worth taking. I genuinely believe we should have won this championship, but one or two bits of bad luck have made the difference. I will now endeavour to end the campaign on a winning note tomorrow. Given that this is only my fourth season of car racing, I can't be unhappy that I've stayed in title contention throughout the season, because this is a very tough series."
Karun Chandhok: "The car felt very good when I was running seventh, early on, but I knew Bruno was behind me and I let him pass. He was fighting for the title so I didn't see any sense in us battling for seventh. It looked as though I'd be able to score some useful points, but after we stopped for dries I dived down the inside of Davide Valsecchi at the first chicane and he squeezed me right across onto a part of the track that was still quite damp. I was a passenger and ended up flying through the gravel. I was able to rejoin and the car still felt OK, but after that any chance of a good result was over."
DAMS - Jerome d'Ambrosio (7th) Kamui Kobayashi (DNF)
Today, the first race of the 10th and final round of the 2008 GP2 Series Championship took place on the mythic Monza circuit, home to the 2008 F1 Italian Grand Prix. As in Belgium last weekend both DAMS drivers Kamui Kobyashi and Jerome d'Ambrosio had to cope with difficult weather conditions in free practice, qualifying and the race.
The start was given behind the safety car because of the waterlogged track with Jerome in 19th place on the grid. He managed to make the most of the precarious grip conditions and his rivals' mistakes to move up the classification. In addition, the team chose just the right moment to shod dry weather tyres and the Belgian used them to gain more places. Kamui too put on an impeccable performance. Unfortunately, the Japanese driver was punted off the track by another competitor and had to retire when he was in 14th place. The driver in question is currently being investigated by the stewards.
Tomorrow, Jerome and Kamui will start from 2nd and 22nd places on the grid for the short race, the final one of the 2008 GP2 Series. The team will be out to finish the season on a high note with a place on the rostrum.
Eric Boullier, team manager: We had two components break on our chassis yesterday when our drivers attacked the kerbs, which explains our poor grid positions. Luckily, the defective parts were replaced during the night and we were able to take part in the race. This afternoon, we were determined to really go for it to climb up the time sheets and our strategy paid off with Jerome. It could also have helped Kamui score points, but another car's wheel decided otherwise. We'd love to finish the season tomorrow with a place on the rostrum. It would be a great reward for the whole team.
Jerome d'Ambrosio: It's been a difficult weekend and the track conditions have kept changing. We took the right decisions concerning our set-up and our strategy and they paid off as I scored points for the fifth time on the trot. I can move up another place in the championship if I finish in the top six tomorrow. I'm really determined to continue my points-scoring steak and end the season with a taste of the bubbly!
Kamui Kobayashi: Yet another difficult race. I ended up in the gravel trap after contact with another car. It's very frustrating but I couldn't do anything about it. It'll be difficult to finish in the top six tomorrow, but if it rains again then anything can happen.
Durango - Davide Valsecchi (8th) Alberto Valerio (12th)
Eighth place today and pole position tomorrow. This is in brief the result of race 1 for Durango here in Monza. Thanks to a very careful and profitable drive, Davide Valsecchi grabbed the eighth place which means one point but, above all, the pole position for tomorrow morning race. A thumb up for Alberto Valerio as well. He recovered a huge gap taking P12 from P20 but received a sanction for speeding in the pitlane (3kmh over the limit). Anyway both drivers performed well on the wet track and the pole position for race took is solid.