Bruno Senna, Williams, 2012

Bruno Senna secures Williams drive for 2012

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Bruno Senna, Williams, 2012
Bruno Senna joins Williams for 2012

Bruno Senna has secured one of the two remaining seats in F1 for 2012.

Senna will take Rubens Barrichello’s place at Williams.

He said: “I feel very privileged that Williams has selected me as one of their race drivers. The team has a great heritage and I hope I can help write a good chapter in their history.

“The evaluation process has been intense and methodical but the time I have spent in the factory has demonstrated that the team has great people and all the resources needed to achieve better things this season.”

Senna made his F1 debut with HRT in 2010 and started eight races for Renault last year. Williams will use Renault engines once more this year.

The move is rich in symbolism. Ayrton Senna, Bruno’s uncle, was in his third race for Williams-Renault when he lost his life in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

Senna added: “It will be very interesting to drive for a team that my uncle has driven for, particularly as quite a few of the people here actually worked with Ayrton. Hopefully we can bring back some memories and create some great new ones too.

“I also want to get some good results in return for the support my country has given me to help get me to this position today. I am very proud to be Brazilian and more motivated than ever to demonstrate what I can do. Ever since I first sat in a go-kart I never wanted to do anything else.”

Frank Williams said: “Bruno only started racing when he was 20 years old but quickly proved his talent in F3 and GP2.

“In a tightly fought 2008 GP2 season, Bruno finished second in the championship with notable victories in Monaco and Silverstone, the latter in the wet. The circumstances of Bruno?s two seasons in Formula One have not given him an ideal opportunity to deliver consistently so it was essential that we spent as much time with him as possible to understand and evaluate him as a driver.

“We have done this both on track and in our simulator and he has proven quick, technically insightful and above all capable of learning and applying his learning quickly and consistently. Now we are looking forward to seeing that talent in our race car.”

Barrichello, who will lose his place at the team to Senna, was the most successful Brazilian drivers in the years following Ayrton’s death, and wore a helmet in the style of his late idol’s in last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

The only remaining seat left for the 2012 season is alongside Pedro de la Rosa at HRT.

See the updated list of 2012 F1 drivers and teams.

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Image ?? Williams/LAT

226 comments on “Bruno Senna secures Williams drive for 2012”

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  1. I think this is a mistake for Williams. They have hired new technical people in the last year and they have a new engine supplier; this is going to be a development year for them as a result of that. If they are going to lift themselves off the bottom of the constructors standings they are going to need good technical feedback. I don’t see them getting the needed feedback with two relatively inexperienced drivers.

  2. I was so excited for Bruno when I heard he got the Williams seat.

    After a difficult time at HRT and a difficult car at Renault, he’ll have a more grounded FULL season with a car that should benefit with the rule changes.

    Then I jump on here and everyone’s talking him down :(

    I think this year will be a great opportunity for him to show what he can do throughout a proper season and I hope he proves the majority of the readers here wrong!

  3. This is Bruno’s time to shine. His first full season with an established F1 team (tough to call HRT established). But to be honest, there are better yardsticks to measure yourself against than Pastor. Pastor is a competent driver (but who isn’t in F1?), but colliding with Lewis at Spa and scoring only 1 point doesn’t help his stock in the driver market. So if Bruno wants to be a F1 driver for a bit more than this year, he’s going to have to really beat Maldonado, and I think he can. Bruno’s not bad for a guy who pretty much skipped karting altogether, considering some of his competitors came out of the womb with a steering wheel in their hands it seems.

  4. on the face of it , this appointment is very disappointing, although I hope i,m proved wrong

  5. No doubt there will be a clause in the contract that allows Williams to dump Senna if he is way off the pace. However something tells me we are in for a nice surprise with The Senna/Williams/Renault package.

    1. I think the next two years will be rebuilding years at Williams. New structure, not much money, atrocious car, inexperienced drivers.

      I doubt we will see many good results before 2014. But as long as they can survive, we should eventually see them consistently in Q1 again in years to come. They have the pedigree to return to the top. But it will take 2, 3, 4 or even 5 years to get there.

  6. Happy New Year to the F1 Fanatic team, to Keith and everyone.

    This for me is great news. I’m a Senna fan, and think there’s something in him that just needs time and nurturing. Williams is probably not the most driver development friendly team, in my opinion, but its a team with lots to prove. The return to Renault engines is a good sign and from the press release seems like even Senna is being kept with his feet on the ground, with the “big evaluation” and “methodical” statements. As for Rubens, I think he will surely find a place in a team on the development side of the sport, maybe as a third driver. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he joins the press side of things, like many others. That wouldn’t be bad either. I think Rubens will stay in F1, probably doing other things, but we will definitely be seeing him around!

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