Sakon Yamamoto to replace Bruno Senna at HRT at Silverstone

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sakon Yamamoto, HRT, Istanbul, 2010

HRT reserve driver Sakon Yamamoto will take the place of Bruno Senna in both of tomorrow’s practice sessions for the British Grand Prix.

The team refused to confirm claims that Yamamoto will drive throughout the race weekend but other sources are reporting team principal Colin Kolles has stated Senna will not drive for the team at all at Silverstone.

Further details are expected tomorrow.

Yamamoto started 14 F1 races for Super Aguri and Spyker in 2006 and 2007. He last drove for HRT in the first practice session of the European Grand Prix two weeks ago.

Read more: Sakon Yamamoto biography

Image (C) Motioncompany

136 comments on “Sakon Yamamoto to replace Bruno Senna at HRT at Silverstone”

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  1. Very sad, Senna has been faster in qualifying than Chandok. Even though he has had less impressive results in the races, he certainly deserves better than to be replaced by a Yamamoto. A matter of money I suppose. I would not be surprised to see the HRT go to 107+% if they do stick that guy in for qualifying. He better be worth a lot of money!

    1. Let’s hope the rumours of that happening are enough to get the Senna backers who are late with their payment a wake up call to hand over the money immediately and save Senna’s drive.

      If i remember rightly, it’s not the first time Kolles did some pretty messy moving around with drivers (during the Midland times).

    2. miguelF1O (@)
      9th July 2010, 0:46

      waht senna faster than chandok im no fan of chandok but he has been impressive catalunya qually was an example

  2. Untitled258
    8th July 2010, 20:03

    Even if it is a matter of money, i bloody hate it when a driver gets picked because he is a pay driver over someone with talent.

    1. Sush Meerkat
      8th July 2010, 20:51

      Thats the point, Senna is supposed to be a pay driver, Sakon is not.

      1. miguelF1O (@)
        9th July 2010, 0:48

        sorry but everybody knows that senna is there cause of his last name there are a lot of great fast drivers running on gp2 or other champs even chandok is faster so what can they do i wanted him to be good but hes not and he stole the place of another rookie maybe di resta or even other brazilian there are some more talented

        1. Honestly? You do know Senna was one of those fast drivers from GP2 right?

          And has out-qualified his team mate pretty consistently this season.

        2. Sakon is also a pay drive – every driver that races for Hispania Racing is supposed to pay for his seat. I would charge Sakon double the price because he will probably wreck that car.
          Bruno Senna has cleaned the floor with Chandok in GP2 and has performed better than him in F1. When it comes to di Resta or anybody else, racing for HR is a dubious blessing: Even Alonso or Hamilton would suck if they had to drive it and when you are a new driver, you have a lot to prove.

    2. Senna has that ‘Banco Cruzeiro do Sul’ personal sponsor and Chandock has nothing that i can see. nor does Yamamoto.

      1. Chandhok has Jk Tyres

        1. @Rahim RG. LMAO.. not a lot of non-indians would know about JK tyres. Thats pretty damn hilarious

          1. That’s not the point. The point is JK Tyres and Amaron are two companies that sponsor him. Although their logos for some reason doesn’t appear on the cars!

    3. And thats where the argument of sport vs entertainment comes into it.

  3. Ditching the faster driver to insert a pay driver? Chandok must be bringing in more money than the Senna name. Another sterling job of financial auditing by the FIA….

    1. I am pretty sure Eclestone is bankrolling Karun, in a bid to get into India. I would bet on it.

      1. hmm…. it does sound like that.

      2. That’s something I would have never thought of, but now that you mention it, it makes sense. Ecclestone had made it public long before Chandok arrived in F1 that he wanted an Indian driver on the grid.

        I think Chandok has done pretty well though. And I really dislike the idea of having Sakon Yamamoto in F1…and I’m Japanese! Who’s next? Yuji Ide?

        I’d rather have Takuma back in F1. Imagine he and Kamui locking horns at the end of a long straight away. Have there ever been two more aggressive AND dangerous drivers?

      3. Believe me, i wud never go to my home gp to watch karun driving fr HRT..he can just be a small little temptation but too small. I wud go to watch the big names..:)

        1. Then again there is something about home team and home driver, it is always fun to cheer for them even if it helps them being second from last.

  4. Shame on HRT,lost all respect for them
    why replace him,been doing a solid job this year and why Yamamoto is usless,a crash machine who shouldn’t be let near an F1 car

  5. Boooooooooooooo!

    1. Worst. Swap. Ever.

      1. Ever. Swap. Worst.

        How many sponsors do HRT actually have?

        ( I did a google on HRT Valencia, so find an image of the car, and this is what I found HRT concept car)

        1. Yamamoto’s gonna have it rough, this is disgusting. Does this mean he’s gone for good?

          This makes me so angry.

          1. I really hope Yamamoto is at least 10 seconds off Chandhoks pace, all weekend.

          2. I read on a dutch site yesterday morning, that Senna is looking only at HRT for next year.
            Maybe this is part of a hard boiled negotiation between Kolles and Senna for that drive and we’ll see him back after signing the contracts.

            I sure hope so, Yamamoto did not do anything to impress in Super Aguri nor at Spyker (compared to his team mates).

  6. Untitled259
    8th July 2010, 20:07

    …and I bloody hate it when a driver gets picked because he has a name made famous by his uncle or father.

    1. Untitled258
      8th July 2010, 20:14

      I see what you did there.

      1. Sush Meerkat
        8th July 2010, 20:52

        I get the distinct feeling your the same guy replying to yourself.

  7. if HRT want to move up the grid then they need a quick good driver with links to sponsors, Senna is that. Chandok is just a slow driver with luck in the races and ends up having good results as the other drivers in front race and have accidents so chandok is lucky!

    HRT are going down in estimation.

    Why not use Klien instead? he is better than yamamoto and chandok!

    1. I agree, Senna has been much better than Chandhok and I’d prefer to see Klien used too.

      1. I can only presume yamamoto must be bringing in a huge sponsor?

    2. He has worse money backing him up!

  8. I don’t quite get this… after all, the biggest sponsor (in terms of space on the car) appears to come from Senna’s sponsors…

    I can’t say I’m impressed by this. Either Yamamoto drives the race or Senna goes in to Qualifying with only FP3 under his belt…

    1. I don’t quite get this… after all, the biggest sponsor (in terms of space on the car) appears to come from Senna’s sponsors…

      Really?? I thought “Karun” and “Senna” (even “Bruno”) took up the same 5 letter space!?!


    2. Or maybe Embratel will not be on the car any more in Silverstone.

      1. As far as I can tell all the sponsors apart from Bridgestone are Senna’s, Embratel and Banco Cruzeiro do Sul, so surely they wont be on the car this weekend?

  9. Disappointing if true. Senna has done well so far this year. He’s been quick in qualifying (compared to his team-mate) and unlucky with car issues in the races.

    I guess HRT is a business first and a racing team second (without the business there is no racing). Sometimes business decisions need to be made for the good of the team and the other employees of HRT who have mortgages to pay and family to look after.

    Bad news for Senna, but if it’s the only way to keep the team going this season, what can they do?

    1. I now recall why I was worried when Kolles was mentioned as running HRT – I seem to recall him liking to do this sort of things while at Spyker (but maybe the Dutch channel was full of Albers at the time, so I had a skewed view?) and also at FI.

  10. The BBC are reporting that Senna has possibly been dropped for the entire season.

    1. Wow, he really must be bringing a lot of money.

      1. “he really must be bringing a lot of money”

        He must but the question is where on earth has Yamamoto got the money from? Surely it can’t be sponsors based on his speed…

        1. Got that messed up hang on. ‘Yamamoto’should just be in italics but apparently I haven’t mastered the easy art of being able to end them

          1. In life, you need to be able to finish what you have s

          2. I chortled out loud. Thank you Hare. :)

  11. Very sad indeed. They’ve lost a lot of respect in my book of ‘People & Things I Respect’!

    1. I sympathize with you, but I will play Devil’s advocate: Obviously the only reason they would replace Yamamoto with Senna is because he brings more money (Devil don’t care if you think Senna brings more money, the fact that they’ve done this surely shows otherwise). Clearly HRT need this money if they do this half way through the season to their best driver. So wouldn’t you prefer them to have a pay driver (or two) and continue racing, rather than them go bankrupt and stop racing altogether?

      1. I can see what you did there. Very well made point.

  12. Very Weird. I would assume it is a financial thing, and ironically Kolles was running Spyker when that happened to them in 2007 if I recall correctly. Also it was Yamamoto who replaced Albers, who was sacked. I believe that Bruno Senna’s main sponsor was Embratel. Joe Saward’s blog makes it seem as if HRT want more money for this race, though.
    Bruno’s Twitter feed has nothing new.

    Now all we need is a comment from Mr. E…. (Headline-Eccelstone:”HRT was bound to fail.”

  13. I get it; they need money but I don’t like it. What the team needs to survive comes first though.

    Senna has been the quickest of the two generally and maybe has the biggest sponsors so it seems a mystery why it wasn’t Karun. I remember that the new teams could go to Bernie if they got into trouble, Karun and him are close and F1 needs an Indian driver so if Karun hasn’t got as much money behind him as Bruno perhaps that’s why he was spared. That’s just speculation/mulling thoughts from me though.

    1. Senna was the biggest appeal about HRT for me. I can’t see how this move is going to help them other than immediate financial gain. But a lot of people, including fans and potential sponsors are going to be unhappy with this.

      The ‘love factor’ is gonna be seriously dialled down.

  14. Actually thinking about it they may need a new paint job on the car and couldn’t afford to change Bruno. Karun has the ‘k’ and ‘n’ already whereas Bruno just has the ‘n’. We’ll soon know if we see very squashed up righting. Just kidding by the way!

    1. There might be something true about that!

      What if this is a power play by Kolles to get some Senna backers to pay a larger amount, or maybe commit for a long term deal?

      He is known for being very single minded.

      1. or even Simple minded lol

    2. *writing Sorry I have no idea where my English went there.
      “What if this is a power play by Kolles to get some Senna backers to pay a larger amount”
      Possibly but he runs the risk of Senna backers pulling out all together if they think Senna won’t get a seat or it isn’t worth it.

      1. The other option is, the Senna backers have already pulled out and are trying to get a deal done with someone else (Sauber, STR, the 13th team) instead of pouring money in a hopeless case.

  15. Very sad. Was looking forward to seeing Senna on track at Silverstone. Hope he is given a drive next year! Poor guy deserves a break.

  16. HRT are rediculous.


    As it happens I think Bruno will get a better drive. Especially if somebody at another team screws up.

    All the word seems to be that he has been completely replaced, it completely angers me, he hasn’t done a bad job at all.

  17. Fred Schechter
    8th July 2010, 20:52

    As great as it will be for Sakon to be in an F1 car, he’ll be in an HRT with limited testing for a short period of time prior to a full F1 race. Is he properly prepped?!
    Bummer for Senna, he was doing well. I think the only time Karun beat him was in tweeting (Karun, the best tweeter in the paddock by far).
    Ugh #PayDriveDebacle

  18. I dont really mind. Anyone is faster than Senna.

    1. Except Chandhok and di Grassi

      1. And except for the fact that Chandhok is 20th in the WDC and Senna is 23rd…

        1. “And except for the fact that Chandhok is 20th in the WDC and Senna is 23rd…”

          Doesn’t mean that much when they have a car as unreliable as a HRT.

  19. HounslowBusGarage
    8th July 2010, 21:15

    What is the likely performance of HRT at one of the fastest GP’s of the year?
    That bad, eh?
    In which case, this is the perfect event to ‘rest’ Senna and pick up a few dollars running Yamamoto.
    Might happen at Spa and Monza too.

    1. i was thinking the same. good point.

  20. Remember MR E wants Karun in because of the new India race ! without an idian driver he can’t tap into that part of the world for money ! Shame about bruno i thought he was doing a solid job no?

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