Bruno Senna, Renault, Hungaorring, 2011

Senna: F1 race chance “feels like Christmas”

2011 Belgian Grand Prix

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Bruno Senna, Renault, Hungaorring, 2011
Bruno Senna, Renault, Hungaorring, 2011

Bruno Senna said his promotion to Renault’s race team “feels like Christmas” and vowed “I will not disappoint.”

In a press release issued by Renault he said: “I am delighted that Lotus Renault GP has offered me the opportunity to become their race driver.

“I?m very motivated to get behind the wheel of the R31. I?ve gained a lot of experience thanks to the time spent with the team this season, and the opportunities I?ve had of driving in Jerez, Duxford and recently in Budapest have whet my appetite to become a successful driver for Lotus Renault GP.

“I am both excited and nervous – it feels like Christmas and my toughest exam have both arrived on the same day! I am really thrilled and motivated to be getting in the car to race in F1 again, especially with such a big team.

“Getting back to racing is something I?ve been craving for a while, and it?s not often you get an opportunity like this with a team of this stature. I feel I am fully prepared to rise to the challenge, and I would like to thank the team for believing in me. I will not disappoint.”

During today’s pre-race press conference Senna revealed he will be driving for the team for the next two races at Spa and Monza.

Team principal Eric Boullier offered no explanation why Nick Heidfeld had been moved aside for Senna: “We are happy to provide Bruno with the chance to begin racing with Lotus Renault GP, starting at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.

“He has proved himself to be an attentive member of the team since he joined almost seven months ago, and we are confident that he will demonstrate his ability alongside Vitaly.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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27 comments on “Senna: F1 race chance “feels like Christmas””

  1. “I will no disappoint.”

    Hmmm, tempting fate… I’m tempted to put £5 down at Ladbrooks that he ends up in the kitty litter before the end of the first lap :P

    I’m in the “I feel sorry for Heidfeld” group, he’s not setting the time screens on fire… but money dictates Petrov’s seat is safe, right?

  2. According to David Croft (via twitter), Petrov said in the press conference today something to the effect that he was glad “Bruno got a contract for the next two races”. Let’s wait and see how long Bruno will be in that seat.

    1. nice encouraging team mate.

    2. Depends who you ask

      Smart money says guarenteed till Monza, and till the end of the seaosn if the ‘legal issues’ go away.

      Senna says that.
      The team aren’t saying much
      Their website says Heidfeld doesn’t exit
      Heidfeld says he’s driving as soon as he gets his seat back

      I’m guessing they want Senna for the rest of the seaosn so they can get a proper idea but Heidfel has launched legal proceedings against the team and given that is in 3 weeks (the week before monza and singapore), Senna only has 2 weeks guarenteed, after that it depends on who wins the legal case.

      Renault wins and Senna driver, Hiedfeld wins and Heidfeld drives.

      One would guess that after this dispute, renault wont renew his contract and no one else will hire Heidfeld without a favoured contract.

      1. this all feels a bit too much HRT chairdance to me.

    3. Petrov may feel a little victimised, it could have quite easily been him making way for Senna.

      Id like to think he kept his seat due to performance…

  3. I think Grosjean will take over after Monza because we will have wrapped up the GP2 title then.. He deserves another go in an F1 car considering his last time was a back of the grid car against Fernando Alonso.

    Kubica and Grosjean next year pleasee!

    1. There’s no need to hurry. Renault need experience to take 4th place off Mercedes, why change drivers again? Heidfeld’s experience was useful, Senna can’t do much in two races.

    2. That’s assuming that the rimors Kubica wants to come back for the last race are false.

      As soon as Renault take on a “4th” driver, then Kubica is stuck waiting.

      If I were Boullier and had a star of Kubica’s caliber, I’d make sure Kubica was giving any and all the options he’d like.

      1. I’d love to see Kubica and Grosjean in Renault, but it’s possible that Robert won’t be able come back to F1, this year or the next. In that case I’d pick Grosjean and Hulkenderg, Glock or Sutil.

        Hulk’s and Grosjean’s achievements seem more impressive to me than both Vitaly’s and Bruno’s. Unfortunately Petrov and Senna bring money to the team, so better drivers have to be benched.

  4. Senna-Lotus pairing really sounds nostalgic, though I have never seen Ayrton racing (I’m too young). Saying that Senna will race in Spa and Monza probably means, that in Singapore Grosean will get the oportunity.

    1. In the press conference Senna said that the intention is for him to drive until the end of the season, if legal issues are resolved. That says to me that it’s not Grosjean that is the “problem” for Bruno, it’s Heidfeld and his court case against Renault. We’ll see.

  5. I hope he can at least keep up with Vitaly.

    1. As Vitaly is the fourth-most overtaken driver in the first half of the season Senna has high aspirations. I think Sauber and FIF1 are in with a chance to beat this team.

      source: http://www.yallaf1.com/2011/08/10/webber-%E2%80%98king-of-the-overtakers%E2%80%99-so-far-in-2011/

    2. Not sure about that.

      1. Remember Force India almost won at Spa a couple of season back. If their (Lotus Renault) new developments are not successful they will lose ground to these other teams who have better drivers.

  6. That rings some bells, the debut race for the greatest winner of F1 (Schumi), was in SPA.

    1. Too bad it’s not his F1 debut. We’ll see how he goes.

    2. If Senna really does well, how great will Chandok look eh?

  7. I don’t understand Heidfeld. He was fired, just face it.

    He can maybe ask for compensation for Renault breaking the contract. But not sue them to continue driving.

  8. There it is if he don’t perform well in the next two races then Renault will replace him by someone else.

  9. There it is if he don’t perform well in the next two races then Renault will replace him with someone else.

    1. Wouldn’t put it past Boullier.

    2. I would not be suprised at all.

  10. I’m sure he feels very fortunate, but is he going to deliver as promised? Petrov isnt impressing that much… I dont see that many russian sponsors neither I saw the “Cruzeiro do Sul” bank I think both could be richer boys.

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