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. I have a better idea: replace Chandhok with Yuji Ide, and then Ide and Yamamoto can win races by crashing into everyone in front of them. Familiar, eh?

  2. For HRT (who are borderline surviving), racing has to be about business to some extent right now. If HRT’s choices are survival, or running Senna, I’d go with Yamamoto as well. Senna won’t be without a job for long though, if he looses his HRT seat, he’ll likely have first dibs of any better seat which opens up in the silly season (Algursuari, Petrov, Trulli, etc.)

    1. Good point. I’d even add the possibility of a vacant seat at Mercedes next year to your list.

  3. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
    8th July 2010, 21:29

    In Murray Walkers words ‘absoooolllluuuutellly Fannnntasssticccc?????…….. bloody disgrace!!!!’

    1. And Senna will be ‘ FURious!’

      1. Alex White
        9th July 2010, 0:57

        “Unless I’m very much mistaken.. And I am very much mistaken!”

        1. Yamamoto is shedding buckets of adrenaline in that car!

          1. Ah, F1 97 memories!

  4. Good job they have that new BBC GPS graphic. We’ll be able to easily count all the cars that get taken out by Yamamoto at turn 1 on the 1st lap

    1. Less Yamamoto, more Ramamoto, is that what you’re suggesting? ;)

    2. Yamamoto has never really crashed into anyone. You must have him confused with Ide. Yamamoto mostly just finished the races a couple of laps down.

      1. I must say I agree with you on this one, people are being very harsh on Yamamoto. He never struck me as someone who crashed often. In fact, the biggest accident I remember him having was the one with Fisichella, which wasn’t his fault!

  5. Hold on. How bad is Yamamoto? He did not set the world ablaze in lower classes but he is no Deletraz. He even won a race, once. Kobayashi was no great shakes in GP2 but now his poster is in everyone’s locker, practically. Chandok certainly did not dominate his GP2 seasons and he is rated on par with Bruno Senna. Frankly I don’t expect him to do much worse than Chandok.

    1. Well, you might be righ about the last thing. The car is bad enough for it to not really matter who they put in, as it will be in the back anyhow.

      But Yamomoto did some far from impressive driving at Super aguri compared to his team mate (Sato, i think) and at Spyker, so it would be a real big suprise to see him having a inspired drive.

  6. Erm, hang on. I’ve got £13.83 in my pocket. Judging by how quick the HRT is(not) that should buy my a race seat for the 2nd half of the season, if not stage a complete buy-out of the team!

    Move on Bruno, your association with this shower isn’t good for your career. You have the talent for much greater things with WAY better managed teams!

  7. Maybe on a more positive note, what if this driver change is only a stop gap thing before a new owner steps in, take over HRT immediately and bring in a new driver. It might not be coincidence ART pulled out now, they might have got a better opportunity. Or maybe some Hurley money involved in a deal?

    Lopez back with government support?
    Or maybe Jaques Villeneuve to have a high profile driver (not being fast will not even be noticable with that car)?

  8. If Senna is replaced at the midpoint in the season whatever might Codemasters do with the spot for their game to be released in September?

    1. Senna in, I dont want to be Yamamoto’s team mate in the first season of career mode :(

    2. They’d probably have Senna in the game anyway. The other games just have the starting grid from the first race. Though it would be nice if they could update driver line ups.

  9. Let the “Senna to Ferrari/Red Bull/Renault” rumours commence!

    1. Senna to Ferrari, now that would be awesome. Ridiculous! But awesome :)

      1. I disagree, I dont really want him to be Alonso’s number 2, Would much rather him at McLaren :D

  10. If this is the case for the whole GP weekend, I have to say I feel a little enraged. Chandok has finished more GPs than Senna, but Senna is a far quicker driver and has had worse luck than Chandok.

    What gets me is that why Yamomoto? Liuzzi is not only far quicker, but far better too.

    I really dont know how to react to this. I’m very aggrivated that Yamomoto is taking part in both practice sessions. Surely it would better if he took Senna’s in place in one sessoin and then Chandoks in the next? Argh. Very annoyed. Senna is the better driver overall – this is backed up by feeder series results.

    Sort it Kolles, you’re making a mistake.

    1. Liuzzi? Do you mean Klien?

      1. I did indeed. Was a little drunk whilst typing that rant =P

  11. Oh well…. HRT obviously want to relate better to the ‘hormone replacement therapy’ that their name as a TLA most certainly relates to for most people in the English speaking world. Rather than Yamamoto, perhaps they should’ve got someone who is on HRT? Their cars seem to be stable as your average HRT recipient.

    I don’t think Senna has particularly shone in the same way as his uncle perhaps, but he’s certainly seemed the better driver so far in that team. HRT still seem to be a bit of a joke outfit. I wonder if they’d just have been better off doing a USF1 and not turning up at all, but I guess they had already bought a couple of chassis.

    Personally, I’d prefer to see Senna driving a Lotus alongside Heikki Kovalainen next year. Trulli needs to get back to his charities and vineyards. He’s lost interest…. spent too long developing a Toyota that never worked. But Heikki and Bruno together?… Could be a nice combination.

    BTW… looking at the new photo at the bottom of the page, you lost weight Keith? And a few years in age?

  12. Charles Carroll
    9th July 2010, 1:13

    My guess is that Cypher will sign him and shortly after the photo op, go out of business.

  13. I cannot for the life of me explain this one. Sure, Yakamoto no doubt brings gazillions to the team – but wouldn’t common sense dictate that if this is a one-race thing, then you replace the slower guy? I guess it really does speak to deeper problems within the team.

    1. Well in the end, results matter the most. And it has been Chandhok delivering the results.

  14. My first though was “Are? You? Serious?” How do you ditch one of the most famous names in world motorsports for…..a glorified D.J.?

    It must be a move for money, otherwise there is no logical reasoning behind it. If they were replacing with a real promising young prospect, I would say “Maybe…” But SY isn’t the brightest talent in motor racing.

    A few days back I saw some posts on another blog that said HRT was having money problems and was for sale. That may be closer to reality than we think.

  15. Nothing appears at Bruno´s Twitter. It sucks, Senna it so much better than Chandock….and a turtle is faster than yamamoto!!! I lost all the respect for the HRT

  16. PD: Is the same horrible thing that´s bmw do in after Hockenheim 06, drop a great driver for a mid-grid one. Hope that this notices is only a rumour. (Please, excuse me for my horrible writted english)

    1. Are you referring to dropping Villeneuve for Kubica? In that instance I think BMW were completely justified, considering their respective performances! Do you really think Villeneuve would have achieved what Kubica did over his time with the team?

  17. This is what i send to the team (and the email address is

    “Es verdad que Bruno no corre? Estan locos? Realmente si es asi les acabo de perder todo el respeto y acaban de perder un fan. Dejar de lado a un gran piloto (El mas rapido del equipo) por una tortuga no es de personas inteligentes ni digno de un equipo de formula uno (Tal vez de BMW, y asi les fue). By the way, see what people think about your choice (De paso, miren lo que opina la gente sobre su eleccion. Si por lo menos hubieran elegido aun grande (Jacques Villeneuve, por ejemplo) o al mismo Klien, pero esto que hicieron fue desastroso…Montezemolo esta equivocado, ustedes no son de GP2….no son dignos ni de correr en el troncomovil de Pedro Picapiedra (Si es que esta noticia es cierta)

    Totalmente desilucionado (y sin los mejores deseos para el futuro del equipo si la noticia es cierta).

    Un ex fan del equipo”

  18. 8th July 2010
    The day when “HRT Fanbase” became an oxymoron in most peoples hearts.

    1. Hare, what means “oxymoron”? (I´m Ferrari fan, but, i use to “torcer” por Ayrton, and obviusly for Bruno too

      1. Conjoining contradictory terms, like ‘deafening silence’.

        Essentially, I’m supposing that HRT, have killed the passion of a lot of it’s fans (and F1 fans interest in HRT in general), by dropping Senna.

  19. Not sure why this have happen but I don’t think that this is a good idea of having a person with not F1 experience for two years in a car which is the slowest on the grid.
    I hope that this is not personal & Senna is back for the German GP.

  20. As poor as Yamamoto’s reputation might be, perhaps the team are simply trying to get a speed comparison relative to their regular drivers. The guy has as much F1 experience as both HRT drivers put together.

    That said, its still a silly decision. Surely destabilizing the team and breaking Senna’s confidence will do more damage later on.

    1. Charles Carroll
      9th July 2010, 4:56

      I agree with you on this. I saw the pictures of Bruno and Karun at Silverstone and also posing with Karun’s Cosworth engine at their factory, and it was smiles all around (they’re over at

      It kind of seems like this bomb was dropped without any notice for Bruno.

      1. Also I imagine the PR department would rather Senna was there rather than Yamamoto for the Cosworth shot.

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