Bruno Senna, Eric Boullier, Valencia, 2011

Senna first in line for race seat at Renault

2011 F1 season

Bruno Senna, Eric Boullier, Valencia, 2011
Bruno Senna, Eric Boullier, Valencia, 2011

Renault team principal Eric Boullier says Bruno Senna will be the first driver the team call in if either of their regular drivers are unable to race.

Speaking at the launch of the Renault R31 in Valencia Boullier said:

I will get the one who is ready and obviously Bruno is the most ready driver.

Romain [Grosjean] is here as well but that is more a strategy to put back a French driver [in F1]. In France there is a concern now, they understood finally, no more Grand Prix, no whatever, and it’s part of the plan.
Eric Boullier

Senna and Grosjean are the team’s third drivers, and the team also have Jan Charouz, Ho-Pin Tung and Fairuz Fauzy (announced earlier this month) as reserve drivers.

Senna said:

It?s a really exciting opportunity from both Group Lotus and Lotus Renault GP.

To be able to develop my Formula One career within a World Championship winning organisation and to do so in conjunction with some hugely interesting work for such an iconic sports car company as Lotus is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Bruno Senna

Senna talked exclusively to F1 Fanatic at the Renault launch – check back later for the interview.

2011 F1 season

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Image ?? Julien Leroy /

53 comments on “Senna first in line for race seat at Renault”

    1. I noticed one thing. All the other drivers have their names on the racing overalls but Ho-Pin does not? What does that mean I wonder? That he just forgetful and didn’t bring his own suit with name on it or ?

  1. Excellent news! Bruno really deserves a shot at a real drive in F1, which he totally did not had in HRT.

    Also, the Senna-Lotus-JPS publicity combo is an opportunity just too good to pass…

    1. Also, the Senna-Lotus-JPS publicity combo is an opportunity just too good to pass…

      Maybe I’m a cynic, but the first thought that crossed my mind was that that’s the only reason he’s there. “Look, it’s a Senna in a Black and Gold Lotus.”

  2. I think it’s pretty degrading and crude of Boullier to outright say that the only reason Roman Grosjean is at Renault is because of his nationality. Okay, it may be the reason, but you don’t say that in public. It implicitly says he’s not there because of talent, which I imagine to be a major put down for a driver. Now I’ve never been a fan of Grosjean, but that’s pretty harsh.

      1. Maybe it could even mean: look Senna is here because he has some money, and we want his name, so Grosjean has to be a bit patient for the moment, but his time will come.

    1. Also Bouiller said Senna was more ready, which is true, he’s just come off of 18 races of modern F1, compared to Grosjean’s lesser tally from 18 months ago.

      Mind you, don’t be too surprised to see a Senna-Grosjean partnership in 2012. I think that would be quite cool, actually.

      1. As Colin Kolles proved last year, a team can run whoever they want whenever they want, switching drivers as often as they like, up to 4 drivers total. I believe 4 is the limit though according to the regulations.

  3. Renault in “being slightly over-prepared for reserve driver needs” shocker.

    First of all, the idea you can have two third drivers is excellent (clue is in the name, surely)!

    With all these third and reserve drivers Renault are only short of 4 for a football team :-D

    Hopefully they’ll all get to drive in Friday practice (joke…)!

    1. Ferrari have 3 reserve drivers: Bianchi, Fisichella and Gené. None of them ever drives for development, not even at the tests. Fisichella only did 2 straight line tests. I wonder what is the use of all those drivers?

    1. A bit like Real Madrid buying drivers and put them on their bench, just so other teams cannot field them.

      Only Renault did not buy the big name stars and went budget buys instead.

  4. This move with Senna is genius one to attract attention of crowds and, of course, sponsors.
    Will see if it works though, becasue Lotus name saga can ruin that sweet masterplan.

  5. Two excellent quotes today that made me smile.

    Kubica when asked how about his lotus he said they are a sponsor aren’t they. Brilliant robert!

    And senna stating he was really happy to get the opportunity. And that he had been trying to get into a ‘serious’ f1 programme for 2 years. Take that me kolles ;-)

    I have rated senna and last year proved nothing. You don’t become a bad driver by driving a poor, non developed car. I think he will get a race seat when Robert leaves at the end of tge year.

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