Bruno Senna Q&A: Id give myself eight and half out of 10 07 Sep 2011
Bruno Sennas racing career at Renault got off to the best of starts in Spa when he out-qualified his team mate Vitaly Petrov, and former world champions Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, to secure seventh on the grid. Although a first-corner mistake scuppered any hopes of scoring points on his race debut for the French team, Senna is pleased with his progress and confidently looking ahead to this weekends Monza event
Q: Looking back on the Belgian race, how happy were you with your weekend on a scale of one to 10?
Bruno Senna: In fairness Id give it a eight and a half because apart from the two mistakes I made during the weekend, everything went smoothly. It certainly was not perfect because of my mistakes, but at the same time it was very encouraging and gave me great confidence to work hard with the team and to try and develop things further; it gave me a firm base for future development.
Q: So, you were able to forget about the mistake on the first corner and look at the bigger picture?
BS: Yes, of course. Mistakes happen, and what happened at the first corner potentially cost me points but what was paramount that weekend was to get some laps under my belt, and I did just that. I managed to complete the race, clock up many laps and familiarise myself with the car. The weekend gave me a good all-round experience.
Q: Did your success in qualifying set expectations too high?
BS: Naturally, when you do well in qualifying it raises the bar of expectation. Inside and outside the team, everybody was very happy with the qualifying and there was greater expectation for scoring points in the race. Having said that, I was the first one to point out that racing is very different to qualifying, and I wasnt getting carried away. It was a step into the unknown, and in terms of performance it went really well but I need to polish up on my race craft, which is a bit rusty.
Q: Having a race under your belt must instil some confidence and help settle the nerves
BS: Of course in Spa I didnt know what to expect in terms of the competitiveness, but it was extremely encouraging that I managed to develop my pace quickly, and work with the team well. I have a strong working relationship with the engineers, and I am eager to get into the cockpit in Monza because I feel more confident heading into this race. As with any sport, miles on the clock and experience instil confidence in oneself.
Q: Monza is another well-respected circuit - what is your experience of it?
BS: Ive known Monza since 2005, so I have been there every year apart from 2009. Its a circuit where Ive had a mixed bag of results. When I was younger, there were a few occasions when I didnt have the right car set-up but I now understand the circuit much better. Im a more mature driver now, and Im confident we can achieve another top 10 qualifying and score more points.
Q: With the various driving experiences youve had this year, your relationship with the R31 must be growing closer
BS: Exactly, I know the car much better now. Im more familiar with the tendencies the car has, and I understand the direction we can take it. Im looking forward to working closely with the engineers to devise solutions on where we can strengthen our approach.
For Formula One and F1 team merchandise, click here.