Senna to race for Williams in 2012 17 Jan 2012
Williams have announced on Tuesday that Bruno Senna will contest the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship for the team. Senna, who is the nephew of three-time world champion Ayrton Senna, replaces Rubens Barrichello as Pastor Maldonados team mate.
I feel very privileged that Williams has selected me as one of their race drivers, said the Brazilian. 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.
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.
Senna started his career in British Formula Three in 2005 before moving to GP2 in 2007. By 2008 he was fighting for the GP2 series title, narrowly missing out on winning the championship in the final race to finish runner-up. A move to sports cars in 2009 and a shot at the Le Mans 24 hours led on to a Formula One drive with HRT in 2010.
He completed a full rookie F1 season with the Spanish team before joining Renault as a reserve driver at the start of 2011. He stepped up to race at August's Belgian round onwards, replacing Nick Heidfeld, and impressed with several Q3 appearances during Saturday qualifying sessions. On Sundays, however, he struggled and scored just once in eight races.
Bruno only started racing when he was 20 years old but quickly proved his talent in F3 and GP2, said team principal Frank Williams. 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 Brunos 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.
Senna will make his debut for the British squad at the first pre-season test at the Spanish circuit of Jerez on February 9.
Williams' announcement means that Barrichello will leave for pastures new after two seasons with the team. On his official Twitter page the Brazilian veteran wished Senna well in his new role and described his own future as being wide open.
There is now just one unconfirmed 2012 race seat, with HRT yet to reveal who will partner Pedro de la Rosa in their line-up.
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