After spending much of 2011 as a reserve driver before replacing Nick Heidfeld at Renault Bruno Senna is clearly happy to have his race seat lined up early in 2012 following his move to Williams in place of Rubens Barrichello.
When asked for his thoughts on joining the Grove outfit the 28 year old said:
“I’m really happy to be a part of a team with such a fantastic heritage,” commented Senna. “I am very proud that Williams has chosen me to race in what will be an important year for them.”
The challenge of racing for this once great team has not been lost on Senna and it’s clear that he views the coming season as a challenge, albeit one that he clearly relishes:
“Everyone is extremely motivated for 2012 and it is great to be part of that motivation. It is true that they didn’t have the best season last year, but it is clear that the team is on a new path and everyone is pulling together to ensure that this year is a better one. I really hope that I can demonstrate what I can do, not only for the team, but for myself. It’s going to be interesting to see what we can achieve together.”
Williams has struggled in recent years but with Renault powerplants on the way in 2012 the future looks brighter. When their recent shakeup of their technical ranks in also considered it’s clear that the team has been very proactive in trying to move back towards the front of the field.
Senna will be paired with his erstwhile GP2 rival, Pastor Maldonado. The Venezuelan had trying rookie campaign with moments of good speed punctuated with lots of needless mistakes and accidents. The pairing has the potential for some fireworks but neither driver has proved themselves to be gifted in terms of developing a car; a trait that Williams sorely need.
Senna has however already started to develop a relationship with his new team and has spent time at the factory and in the simulator as he acclimatises to life at Williams. With pre-season testing limited to just nine days Senna has precious little time ontrack to show his new team what he can do.
As a result working on the simulator with his engineers is the easiest way to develop a relationship:
“I think we’ve started off really well,” said Senna when asked about his relationship to his crew. “Now I’m looking forward to working with them more over the season. The relationship between a driver and engineer is something that few people can understand. You need mutual respect, to understand each other well and know how to work together in order to really gel from the start. That relationship and continuity can make such a difference to your overall performance.”
The biggest talking point about Senna’s confirmation at Williams is likely to centre around his families ties to the team. His uncle, Aryton Senna, died at the wheel of a Williams and ever since the team has carried the name and logo of the Senna foundation on their car. For the first time since ’94 they will also carry the Senna name on the cockpit.
Bruno is clearly relishing the prospect of racing for the same team as Ayrton and said:
“It will be very interesting to drive for a team that my uncle drove for,” commented Bruno. “Quite a few of the people still here actually worked with Ayrton and I’m happy that they are now giving me the chance to prove myself here. Hopefully we can bring back some good memories and create some great new ones too.”