Senna to stay at Renault throughout 2011

2011 F1 season

Bruno Senna, Renault, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Bruno Senna, Renault, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Renault has confirmed Bruno Senna will continue to drive alongside Vitaly Petrov for the rest of 2011.

The team announced the news having formally split with Nick Heidfeld earlier today.

Romain Grosjean will remain as the team’s third driver.

Senna made his debut for Renault in Belgian Grand Prix.

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42 comments on Senna to stay at Renault throughout 2011

  1. Good – he deserves a good few races to prove his worth. Other than his start mishap in Belgium he actually had a good (quiet) race.

    • If he had had only this race to prove himself it wouldn’t have been easy to evaluate him. Renault are clearly testing him to see who’s better between him and Grosjean.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 2nd September 2011, 21:46

        Lets not forget Petrov. He hasn’t exactly been stellar this year, and was trailing Heidfeld’s before Nick’s exit. I’m hoping for Kubica next year and then either Senna or Grosjean in the 2nd seat

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 2nd September 2011, 23:21

        Hard to tell, but surely they will be reluctant to have Grosjean damage his now great reputation by a lacklustre performance in F1.

        At the same time having Senna is beneficial for the team (brazil connections, and that helmet to go with the livery) and for the driver.

        • unocv12 said on 3rd September 2011, 3:40


          Dont forget that option. Ricciardo is on loan ot HRT from Red Bull.

          If Senna impress’ and thye ge some money out of it, then Grojean may be loaned to another team.

          He now has a high reception and pulling in a GP2 world champ could be great

  2. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 2nd September 2011, 17:31

    This is it, Bruno. This is your one chance to really establish yourself.

    No pressure.

    • His uncle would win every remaining race this year with that reno.

      • I don’t actually know how well Ayrton would have done in modern-day F1. With KERS and the nature of the Pirelli tyres, and Ayrton’s do-or-die and go as fast as beyond humanly possible, he’d end up making more pitstops than other drivers, and strategy plays a very important part these days. Sometimes, you have to go slow to be fast (just see Sauber).

        • You gotta remember that Senna excelled in an era that required to be conservative. Sure, Prost was still very fast but one of his strongest traits was his management. For Senna to do as well as he did, he would have needed to know how to fight battles of attrition.

          However, I’m unsure if I agree with Rob about him winning every race in the poorly financed/managed renault.

        • Daniel said on 3rd September 2011, 15:50

          With a Red Bull these days, Senna would make 16 pole positions, out of 19, and win 7 or 8 races, with 3 or 4 retirements due to crashes or mechanical failures… since now the pointscoring system punishes harshly any retirement, he would be runner up to a more consistent driver, with 3 wins and 11 other podiums…

          • Daniel said on 3rd September 2011, 15:55

            With “Senna” I obviously meant Ayrton.

            As for Bruno, to whom I wish all the best, I think he’ll be better than Heidfeld, but I’m not so sure about him and Petrov compared, not because I rate the russian that high, but because the brazilian will have to overcome a serious lack of track experience, that comes from the 10-years hiatus on his racing career.

            I also think it’s his best chance, probably his only real chance in a Formula 1 seat.

            I think he’ll deliver a couple of great performances, like his qualifying in Belgium, but I still fear he won’t be consistent enough to impress…

    • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 2nd September 2011, 23:34

      Seriously. He finally has his shot. He earned it with his GP2 performances in 08, but he better be stellar if he wants Boullier to pick him over the very French and very up and coming Grosjean.

  3. Even though I feel kinda bad for Nick, there’s just something wicked about seeing a Senna in these colors!

    I really hope you will make an impression Bruno!

  4. Gubstar said on 2nd September 2011, 17:39

    Great news!!

  5. It won’t be long before Boullier turns on Senna, like he did Heidfeld. He has a massive conflict of interest when it comes to driver selection. It is inevitable that he will find a way to get Grosjean a drive at Renault and will fall over himself excusing Grosjean’s inevitable disappointing performance.

    • opttimistic said on 2nd September 2011, 17:58

      the good thing about humans is how they think so positively…. =)

      • Only two drivers can drive well at Renault in the eyes of Boullier: Kubica and Grosjean.

        • Really? This is the only driver Boullier has had a major problem with. I can’t see how you view that as a “trait”.

          Renault aren’t in a financially secure position either, I’m not sure but I think Senna might be bringing sponsorship money into the team.

          I think it’s more to do with Heidfeld not being the dominant team leader that Kubica was, and that’s what I think Boullier expected.

    • I can’t see that happening Tom.

      Senna has money.

      Heidfeld didn’t.

    • 1 of the 3 said on 3rd September 2011, 11:50

      Tom – you could be right.

      Just out of curiousity, though, are there any Eric Boullier fans out there? Is it just me or is he quite bad as a team principal?

      No sarcasm intended here. I mean I find him dreadful but perhaps there is another side that I’m missing. I’m always up for hearing another version in any case…

  6. TED BELL said on 2nd September 2011, 17:59

    This is a pretty good situation for Senna. The car is capable although still a midfield runner and if Bruno can get the most out of this opportunity he stands a chance of remaining in F1. Without substantial results he will become the next recipient of the “Heidfeld” award.

  7. BrittCohen (@) said on 2nd September 2011, 18:26

    So great having a Senna in Formula One again! hope he can shine like his uncle

  8. joey-poey said on 2nd September 2011, 18:42

    I have mixed emotions about the rest of the season for Bruno. While he was at HRT, there wasn’t all that much pressure to perform, what with the car and team leaving only so much he could do. Now, not only is he in a bigger, more established team, but he has the precedent of Heidfeld’s and Petrov’s performances to compare against. To top it off, carrying the Senna name means all eyes are on him to live up to the legacy that his uncle set. This is a LOT of pressure placed on his shoulders. It doesn’t help that the car doesn’t seem to be developed as much as the other teams. If you ask me, the odds are against him and crossing my fingers and toes that he can deliver when it’s needed because I, too, want to see him succeed.

    • You’re right. It does seem like a lot of pressure but on the plus side: he’s got another chance, he approached Spa in a very calm and mature way, he was bang on the pace all throughout Spa despite his gap racing and even if the Renault has been a disappointment this season it’s still got to be more to his liking than that HRT :P

  9. urizen said on 2nd September 2011, 19:47

    What if Kubica’s fit?

    • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 2nd September 2011, 20:16

      Nothing. Lopez made his point quite clear that even if Kubica is fit to race he will not compete this year.

      • Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 2nd September 2011, 22:30

        We’re in September now and Kubica hasn’t been in the simulator yet and was having surgery only a week or so ago.

        Kubica will not be back racing this year and I still have my doubts about whether he’ll make it back next year either, though I hope he does for so many reasons.

        But I also hope Senna finds himself a seat for next year. Maybe Williams could do with some Brazilian money, or with the rumoured buy-out of Toro Rosso, perhaps a seat will open up there…(Personally I’d like to see him in a McLaren, just because that would seem so right!!)

    • Daniel said on 3rd September 2011, 16:05

      Well, I think “Senna to stay” announcement also means Kubica won’t be fit in time for 2011.

      And speaking about the polish, if he was the parameter, the team-mate to beat, than I would be afraid for Bruno, because Robert, despite winning only one race to date, cause he has never had truly a top car, has shown enough for all of us to rate him among the best in his generation…

      Petrov or Heidfeld, with all respect, can’t scare any driver who wishes to be a race winner/title contender/world champion…

  10. lubhz (@lubhz) said on 2nd September 2011, 23:01

    That’s very good news.

    But when are we gonna see the Embratel logo on the Renaults? It is the Brazilian telecom that always sponsored Bruno Senna. We can see it on the driver’s cap here:

    but nothing on the Renaults livery yet:

    as we could see on the HRT last year:

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 2nd September 2011, 23:59

      Apparently Senna is not bringing sponsorship money as part of his deal to drive for the team.

      • James_mc (@james_mc) said on 4th September 2011, 1:45

        But he does bring exposure/interest. Something which yet another German who is neither one of the following can provide:

        – Youngest WDC and probable youngest double – WDC
        – Record holders of WDC
        – Son of a WDC
        – Rated highly talent-wise
        – Good at glassing

        NH fits below this with:
        – holds record for most mediocre records in F1

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd September 2011, 9:51

      We can’t be sure about this being connected to getting Senna in the car, but Renault had Gilette logos on their front wings in the Spa Race (not yet in FP!)

  11. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 3rd September 2011, 2:50

    Now as he has the deal will be interesting to see how he cope in the rest of the season,soon we will find the true potential of his.

  12. Rob Wilson (@rob-wilson) said on 3rd September 2011, 12:33

    He has 7 races now to show what he’s got, I really hope he does prove he is worthy of a permanent place in formula 1, i’d love to see him do well and secure a place at a team for next year. Maybe Williams if Barrichello decides to call it a day? This is obviously presuming that Kubica will return, if not, i hope he keeps his place at Renault for 2012.

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