Williams will today announce that Bruno Senna will race for the squad in 2012. The Brazilian has raced for HRT and Renault in the past and had a particularly impressive end to last season for the Enstone squad.
The news had been expected for days but it was crudely broken by a technical mishap on the Williams website that saw a profile page for Senna created. The Brazilian will replace his compatriot, Rubens Barrichello, who must now be looking at the end of his long and illustrious career.
With only one drive available at HRT it is likely that Barrichello will bow out of the sport at the highest level after two seasons with Williams that have seen the team fall off the pace and struggle to compete at the highest level. It is an ignominious end to his Grand Prix career and it will be interesting to see if Barrichello decides to compete in sportscar racing or an another series in future.
The team’s lack of funds has meant that Pastor Maldonado will remain on the grid in the coming year as a result of healthy backing from his home country of Venezuela. Senna will also bring with him some sponsorship but it would be unfair to characterise the 28 year old as a pay-driver. He showed in his outings for Renault last year, in particular at Spa that he is a talented driver that has far more than just a famous surname.
The return of the Senna name to Williams-Renault is sure to evoke widespread emotion in his homeland and throughout the world but Senna has shown that he more than deserves his chance to remain on the grid in the coming year.