It’s a shame that Bruno Senna’s every move in motor racing evokes parallels with his uncle.
But his victory at a soaking wet Silverstone in today’s GP2 race brought back strong memories of Ayrton Senna’s triumph in similar conditions at the same track 20 years earlier.
Luca Filippi started from pole position courtesy of his eighth place in yesterday’s feature race. But as the race began on a wet track Bruno Senna passed him for the lead halfway around the first lap by taking the outside line at Abbey. Filippi then lost several more places by spinning off at Brooklands.
While Senna hit the front his team mate was struggling with the wet conditions again and, just as at Magny-Cours two weeks ago, spun off on the first lap.
Meanwhile Romain Grosjean and Andreas Zuber clashed and Grosjean shortly found himself without a front wing.
He defended his position nonetheless – with such effectiveness that Vitaly Petrov spun off trying to pass him – but pitted for a new wing on the third lap.
That left Senna leading from Lucas di Grassi and Giorgio Pantano. Mike Conway appeared in fourth having taken advantage of the chaos in front of him after his 14th place start.
Grosjean began making his way back through the field following his pit stop. He daringly passed Javier Villa on the outside of Woodcote for 12th, but when he tried the same on Yelmer Buurman fro tenth the Dutchman put him on the grass. But Grosjean came back at him to secure the place.
His bid to score points was thwarted, however, partly because despite the rain and crashes there were no safety car periods. One of the drivers crashing out was Andy Soucek who spun into the wall while trying to defend his sixth place position from Kamui Kobayashi.
Kobayashi himself had fought his way up from 25th to take sixth but lost the position in a cruel twist on the final lap. The lapped Adrian Valles spun in front of him at Bridge and side-swiped Kobayashi’s car. Also involved in the crash was Pastor Maldonado, on a miserable day for the Venezuelan who had two drive-through penalties.
Senna kept his car on the track despite further heavy rain falling late in the race, making the track even slipperier and the visiblity yet worse. He took the win from compatriot di Grassi, who was second for the second time this weekend.
Giorgio Pantano took third and retains an 11-point advantage in the championship over Senna. Conway, fourth, could do nothing to pass the Italian. Fifth was Soucek and David Valsecchi inherited sixth from Kobayashi for the final point.