GP2 Asia champion Romain Grosjean scored yet another victory in Dubai on Friday afternoon, but rival Bruno Senna was left to rue a ridiculous situation where he only received one tyre during his pitstop instead of the mandatory two which cost him a certain victory.
Senna (iSport) was leading by over 17 seconds when he was forced to pit again with four laps remaining, dropping him out of the points and into ninth place. It also ruined his bid to finish second in the championship.
Senna was over 11 seconds clear of Grosjean, whom he had passed in brilliant style on the opening lap, when he made his first stop. He requested left-side changes over the radio, when the team had prepared to change both rears.
The only clue from the outside was his gesticulations as he approached his pit, and during the confusion only his left rear was changed a replacement left front wasn't ready.
"I was never meant to win in this championship," sighed Senna, who only missed out on tomorrow's reverse grid pole position by 0.134 seconds. "I wanted my front left changing [rather than his right rear] because I could see it was losing shape."
This promoted Grosjean to the win, who was completely oblivious to the disaster that had befallen iSport. His pass on Sebastien Buemi (Arden) eight laps from the finish turned out to be the decisive moment that won him the race.
When asked if he thought he was lucky to win, Grosjean replied: "It's not luck if someone doesn't do their job properly. I was fighting all the way, but I did think my engineer was mistaken when he told me I was leading."
Buemi finished second, complaining of damage incurred when he clashed with Grosjean at Turn 1 immediately after Romain's pitstop. Arden teammate Yelmer Buurman finished third, ahead of a closing Vitaly Petrov (Campos), Hiroki Yoshimoto - who passed two cars in the final two laps for finish fifth for Meritus - and Marco Bonanomi.
The point scorers were rounded out by Jerome d'Ambrosio and Milos Pavlovic, who will start tomorrow's sprint race from reverse grid pole.
At the end of the 34 laps, the chequered flag failed to appear. Although the race officially ended then, the cars continued to race, with Petrov passing Buurman for third on a lap that never was.
Classified: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Grosjean ART Grand Prix 59:37.711 2. Buemi Trust Team Arden + 1.933 3. Buurman Trust Team Arden + 3.549 4. Petrov Campos Team + 4.114 5. Yoshimoto Qi-Meritus Mahara + 11.364 6. Bonanomi Piquet Sports + 12.051 7. D'ambrosio Dams + 12.596 8. Pavlovic BCN Competicion + 13.021 9. Senna iSport International + 13.155 10. Tahinci BCN Competicion + 29.598 11. Tung Trident Racing + 30.597 12. Fauzy Super Nova Racing + 30.744 13. Filippi Qi-Meritus Mahara + 31.334 14. Valerio Durango + 38.482 15. Valsecchi Durango + 47.037 16. Rodriguez FMS International + 48.474 17. Schleghelmilch Trident Racing + 48.575 18. Nunes DPR + 56.747 19. Jelley ART Grand Prix + 90.631 20. Ebrahim DPR + 1 lap 21. Kobayashi Dams + 3 laps Not classified: Driver Team Laps Hanley Campos Team 27 Chandhok iSport International 23 Bakkerud Super Nova Racing 19 Puglisi Piquet Sports 10 Valles FMS International 7 Fastest lap: Senna, 1:41.960 on lap 27