Senna prepared to settle for role as reserve

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Bruno Senna says he may take a role as a reserve driver in 2012.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Senna would accept third-driver role (Autosport)

“To take a third-driver place it would have to be a similar type of role to what certain people had this year with driving on Fridays.”

Jean Alesi hopes Romain Grosjean kicks off French F1 renaissance (The Norwich Advertiser)

Jean Alesi: “The performance of the car was sometimes good, sometimes not, but [Senna] managed to do his job in the best way. So it’s a shame – but Total did push very much for a French driver and they pay more…”

A little pressure for Interlagos (Joe Saward)

“It is in the light of this knowledge that the announcement that Beto Carrero World is building an international level racing facility is fairly interesting. It is being designed by Hermann Tilke.”

F1 Fanatic via Twitter

“Two-week-old quotes Lewis Hamilton gave on XIX Management ( are suddenly doing the rounds:,

Q&A with Force India’s Paul di Resta (F1)

“You have to think about a worst-case scenario – and thank goodness I have [manager] Anthony [Hamilton] doing that for me. That’s what he is employed to do.”

Lotus deny Kimi Raikkonen deal is marketing ploy (The Independent)

“It’s not about a marketing exercise, as I read in the press, or a business platform for the shareholders. It’s about the Formula 1 team, and that is about performance, and that is when you are on the podium.”

BBC to rebuild F1 presentation team (BBC)

“The BBC have cut their sport rights spend by 15% as they try to make a net 16% reduction in the corporation’s overall budget. Their spend on sports is larger than on other genres except news, and the BBC have said that sharing F1 rights saves more than if they pull out completely from the original deal.”

Thanks Estesark for this tip.

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Suffolk is pleased to see Ben Edwards return to F1 commentary:

He is responsible for my interest in F1 from his time on Eurosport.

I was very young at the time but whenever possible I would watch all the practice sessions and Friday qualifying. Ben seems to have an ability to draw the audience in and make them feel like they are part of the event with his no nonsense commentary, knowledge, excitement, seriousness and professionalism.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Dermot Farrelly!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Ten years ago today the FIA revealed that, following doubts over their future, the British, Italian and San Marino rounds would remain on the calendar for 2002.

However the Australian Grand Prix’s place on the calendar remained subject to an investigation of the crash that killed marshal Garaham Beveridge during the 2001 race. That was the last fatality to occur at an F1 race weekend.

Author information

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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49 comments on “Senna prepared to settle for role as reserve”

  1. Hey, just want to let you know the links in paragraph about the two-week-old quotes from Lewis aren’t working.

    1. Fixed, thanks.

    2. Now Autosport are running the quotes as well and attributing them to The Guardian!

      1. Heh, looks like they took that story down already! Maybe someone saw your Twitter exchange with Alan Baldwin and realized what was going on…

      2. Argh, ESPNF1 as well:

        “Hamilton told The Guardian…”

        Very irritating!

        1. so just what on earth did he say?….

          1. Ok So after having read them at last why have those comments been taken down? He hasn’t stepped on anyones toes he stuck up for his management.

          2. It isn’t the comments per se that are the problem — it’s the fact that they are being cited incorrectly in more than one article. For example, in some places they are being quoted as responses to Bernie Ecclestone’s comments from a few days ago, even though Lewis Hamilton said these things before the Brazilian GP. Also, they have been incorrectly attributed to The Guardian, when they are actually from a SpeedTV interview with Will Buxton.

          3. Ah i see naughty naughty…er someone, speedtv? lol.

  2. “To take a third-driver place it would have to be a similar type of role to what certain people had this year with driving on Fridays.”

    I cannot begin to predict where he might go. I doubt he’ll wind up at Hispania, because of the falling-out he had with Colin Kolles. And nor do I think he will stay with Lotus, because rumour suggests that Jerome d’Ambrosio will be their third driver.

    But then, I have a very clear memory of saying “Kimi Raikkonen will not join Lotus Renault GP” less than twenty-four hours before he joined Lotus Renault GP …

    “It’s not about a marketing exercise, as I read in the press, or a business platform for the shareholders. It’s about the Formula 1 team, and that is about performance, and that is when you are on the podium.”

    Of course it’s not a marketing ploy. Everybody knows Kimi couldn’t sell water to someone dying of thirst. Or more to the point, he won’t sell water to someone dying of thirst.

    Okay, maybe I’m being a little unfair on him. But his dislike of doing media and PR work is well-documented. However, I think it’s really a question of what he is promoting that piques his interest. At Lotus, he’ll no doubt figure into their marketing campaigns. Selling road cars may be something he might be more comfortable with than selling mobile phones, cigarettes or a bank, simply because cars are something he knows – he is, after all, a racing driver.

    1. I’ve seen Kimi advertising a mobile phone network and a TV channel in Finland, so it is something he is prepared to do if it suits him.

      Having said that, I’ve seen Heikki do some advertising here too, and he’s much better at it…

      1. I’ve seen Kimi advertising a mobile phone network and a TV channel in Finland, so it is something he is prepared to do if it suits him.

        Prepared to do, yes. But given the choice, would he? When he was “talking” with McLaren at the end of 2009 (and I have my theories that he was actually pricing himself out of the market to save face), he was believed to be looking for a contract with a minimal PR load. It’s well-known that he intensely dislikes it.

        That said, I would not be surprised if you told me that Raikkonen had a mild form of Asperger’s. I know, my experience of him is limited to what I see in post-race interviews and read in articles online, but based on what I do see, I can see a lot of it in students that I teach who I know to have Asperger’s. He is a particularly gifted racing driver, we rarely see any kind of emotion from him (I still remember when Ferrari had to coach him on what to say for the radio transmission when he took pole in Melbourne back in 2007 – only for the TV director to pick up the coaching) and he does not seem to interact with other drivers very much; in fact, his closest friends seem to have very little to do with motorsport at all. There’s nothing wrong with Raikkonen having Asperger’s – it just surprises me that more drivers don’t.

        1. But given the choice, would he?

          I bet none of the drivers would do advertising if they were given the choice.

          All of the drivers hate to do it. Look at Hamilton, I remember he was on fumes this year after doing million PR events before Silverstone I think it was.

          The drivers just want to drive. They are forced to do other stuff…

          I’ve read plenty of interviews that they are asked if they have any friend around in the grid and 99% of them say F1 isn’t the place to make friends. They might get along quite well with one another, but I can’t see nothing wrong with Kimi not interacting with anyone else.

          He’s in F1 because he’s a superb driver, he doesn’t need to be friendly.

        2. Actually, Kimi does interact with other drivers, the one I know for sure of is Sebastian Vettel, as they play Badminton together, and he as well as many others have said that Kimi is a completely different person away from the track.

          Personally, I think showing little to no emotion is just his way of concentrating to the best of his ability. We’ve all had those days when certain emotions have got the better of us and have probably underperformed because of it, just look at Hamilton this year. If Raikkonen has found a way of dealing with that side of things and getting into a mentality that works for him, then I can do nothing but respect that.

        3. because your experience of him is limited to press conferences and interviews, your diagnosis of Asperger’s (or any other disorder) will inevitably be flawed and is frankly humorous. judging someone’s mental capability and social interaction based on a press conference performance is very strange.

          have you considered the fact that Kimi simply does not like PR and acts differently around his friends, than when attending a mandatory PR event?

          i dont really get why some F1 fans want the drivers to also be great entertainers, interviews, presenters, etc. Personally I am not that interested in the driver’s personal lives or what they do when they’re outside the car. Thats not why I follow F1. Let the drivers do the talking on the track.

        4. I’m not an expert but aren’t a lot of Scandinavian people generally undemonstrative and laid back. It seems to me as an outsider that is just part of their culture.

          I remember watching Mika Hakkinen’s interviews after races, and he was priceless in some of his responses to interviewers, the Finns don’t seem to mince their words and engage in unnecessary chat which I like.

          Kovalainen’s a bit more outgoing in his personality but still quite a laid back character. Kimi is obviously not comfortable in front of the media, but you have no idea what he is like with his friends or people he knows well and by all accounts he is a different person.

          1. A Finn I am friends with once commented that they often contrast Kovalainen and Raikkonen as “Ice-man” and “Nice-man”.

          2. The other way around, of course!


            one of my favourite drivers, so many great comments that interviewers didn’t know how to take

    2. Kimi however, is a big name. Perhaps Kimi himself isn’t the angle? Perhaps it’s the attention he creates?

    3. @Prisonoers_Monkeys: Care to reconsider that comment in the light of Kolles leaving HRT because “of the new direction they are going in.”

    4. @prisoner-monkeys Given that Kolles has just left HRT, does that open the door for Senna again?

      1. @andrewtanner – possibly, but I think he’d be pushing an elephant up the stairs. Senna wouldn’t be able to start talking to HRT until Kolles leaves (which, as far as we know, was today). Every other driver talking to the team would already have a head-start.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys Fair point. I can see him remaining as Lotus’ reserve driver. It would make sense for the team and I can’t imagine Senna has many opportunities up and down the paddock.

          1. Jerome d’Ambrosio is believed to be lining up as Lotus’ test driver.

    5. I doubt he’ll wind up at Hispania, because of the falling-out he had with Colin Kolles.

      might actually be seen positively after Kolles parted with them, PM!

  3. Damn, really thought i had a shot at COTD with my comment on whether it could be argued Ham should be higher than BUT in the rankings. Oh well, on day…

  4. Okay, something bizarre that I’ve only just noticed – the last Grand Prix of both Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean was the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. My question is this: when was the last time a team contracted two drivers who had been out of the sport for two years or more to drive for them?

    1. Yamamoto and Klien for Hispania last year? They shared a seat though, not racing against each other and not for the start of the season nor for the whole season.

    2. Well we’ve often had two rookies, which counts as well I guess. But two returnees not at a new team – must be a long time.

  5. Please, please, please don’t let them replace Interlagos with a Tilkedrome D:

    1. @joey-poey – I don’t think that’s going to happen. In addition to reprofiling the final corner, Interlagos is looking at doing what Silverstone did, and building an entirely new pit lane and paddock, to go along Reta Oposta. This would address many of the issues along the Arquibancadas pits … although it is a pretty sorry state when the current pits are in such a poor condition that it is cheaper and easier to simply relocate them somewhere else.

      Even if Interlagos were to go, Tilke is canny enough to realise that the Brazilians love their motorsport, and that a boring circuit isn’t going to cut it. His designs for Buddh, Austin, New Jersey and Sochi all demonstrate the flashes of inspiration that he showed with Sepang and Istanbul, and I see no reason why he could not make a good circuit in Brazil, especially since he is on a roll. Heck, he’d probably just lift the design of Interlagos and build a perfect replica of it somewhere else.

      1. I’d guess part of the reason for building a new one, is the ease of doing so. Remember if they would pull down the existing building, they have to close the track and will be under pressure to have everything ready in less than a year.

        If they do it this way instead, they can start building and when its finished just switch the F1 teams to the new facilities. And the old ones can be kept on as a support paddock or for a shortened track version (or demolished, if they are that bad).

  6. according to La Gazetta dello Sport correspondent Andrea Cremonesi Robert Kubica is going to test the Ferrari F10 at Mugello next spring
    Well-known for being close to Ferrari sources, he wrote that Kubica is much more likely to return to the grid alongside Fernando Alonso in 2013

    1. @Tifoso1989 As I said in yesterday’s roundup where this story was posted in the comments, I simply refuse to believe that a driver of Kubica’s style and talent would go to Ferrari alongside Fernando. It’s like Button staying with Brawn as they became Mercedes and joining Schumacher. It looks brilliant on paper, but will never work.

      So that’s Kubica out of Ferrari until at least 2017 really, I’d far rather see him take Barrichello’s place at Williams in 2013 and help build them back up before moving to Ferrari.

      This is all of course wishful thinking, because Kubica needs to regain the fitness needed to be an F1 driver, and the talent needed for a Ferrari driver… I hope he can recover, but fear that might not be the case

      1. @KeeleyObsessed I think most F1 drivers tend to think they’re the very best. Look at Paul DiResta who wasn’t the first to declare that he would also be WDC if he had driven the Red Bull.

        Also, when Button went to McLaren, it was called the Lion’s Den by some. But Jenson explicitly sought this challenge for himself.

        Why would Kubica be different? Ferrari is still one of or maybe the most desired team to drive. And in F1 you have to take your chances when they appear – and in the case of Kubica, make something beautiful out of something ugly.

        I would love to see Kubica fight Alonso. It will be hard, but if he wins, wouldn’t that be the comeback of the decade?

        1. @verstappen In fairness jenson didn’t have much choice he knew mercedes were going to flop in 2010. Most people assume that they were barely even working on the 2010 car even though they said they had been since june 2009 or something. That being said i agree with everything you wrote completely if it happens or not is something else but i do agree.

          1. @TheBrav3 Did he know Mercedes were going to be rubbish? Did he know Mclaren would offer him a better car?

            @verstappen I believe Kubica would be different after his crash, it doesn’t take a genius to notice how different Massa has been since his crash.. Kubica’s was far more serious.. I’d love him to drive for a top team and challenge for the championship a la first half of 2008, but facts have to be faced that it is unlikely that IF he can make a recovery to the point where he was in 2010, that Ferrari will give him status over Alonso, who has many more acheivements whilst driving for the same (at face value, at least) team. I’d love Kubica to beat Alonso, but it’s unlikely to happen within Ferrari. A third driver role at Williams to be transferred to main driver in 2013/4 would make more sense in my opinion, and would certainly be a lot better for Williams, Ferrari, Kubica and Alonso..

          2. @keeley yes.

          3. It doesn’t take a genius to know that if kubica had memorys of sitting trapped in a wrecked car for an hour whilst bleeding out of almost a stump you’d be right. As it is and as i have told you before his memory goes like this, racing racing racing hospitol. I refrained from explaining so graphicly before because it’s a horrible thing to talk about, as you have to keep bringing it up though someone has to set you straight. So can we drop it now?

  7. Okay so I am usually the first to scoff at people who make posts like this, but last night I had the strangest dream…in it I remember reading that Force India had dropped all their current driver and gone with Markus Winkelhock and a driver with the initials VV…

    …so you heard it here first folks!!

    Okay, back to reality, would anyone else love to see Senna take on 3rd driver role at Mercedes? I mean Ross Brawn obviously rates him as he was close to signing him for Honda prior to them pulling out…

    1. f1enigma believes Adrian Sutil will be third driver at Mercedes.

    2. I would rather see him take a 3rd driver role at any team at all except renault, it’s pretty obvious with eric in charge he will never get a fair crack at it. That being said i think he’s pretty much doomed to a life of test/reserve driving now unless he drives with williams or the new new new hrt team next year. If he doesn’t he’ll be 29 (an old man in f1 terms) with very little experience.

  8. Caterham’s 2012 car will officially be known as the CT-01.

  9. @Keith-Collantine the link to the Norwich Advertiser is broken. I tried to look it up but it looks to be disappeared. Here’s a short version with the same story on GPUpdate.

    Now, that is still a thing I don’t like about Kimi’s return: Bahar. With dry eyes mr Bahar is telling the world that they didn’t go for a pay driver and then Alesi saying:

    “…So it’s a shame – but Total did push very much for a French driver and they pay more…”

    Well, I just keep my fingers crossed. Because Team Enstone is a good and capable team who’ve won Championships in the past, whatever badge they had on.

  10. In other news, Jyrki Järvilehto was found guilty in boat crash, which led to death of his friend. The sentence for him was 2 years and 4 months in prison, though Järvilehto still tries to shorten it. Tragical stuff. :(

  11. Senna really deserves to be in F1 in 2012. He never had the opportunity to do an entire season with a decent car and that would make all the difference. In an entire season he would be in equal terms with other drivers and would surely do much better than he did entering only in the 12th GP. Even so he did amazingly well at Spa, beating Alonso in qualifying with a Renault that was no match for the Ferrari. In Monza he was the 4th fastest in the race, just 0,3s. slower than Vettel’ s best lap in the race. In Suzuka he was 9th in Q3 with very little track time in morning free practice. In Interlagos he even managed to beat Vettel’ s time in the first sector of his last lap in Q2. This after beating the likes of Schumacher and di Resta with a Renault that was not really as good as the Mercedes and the Force India.

    Bruno Senna showed his speed and just needs time to improve, particularly his consistency and racecraft. He just needs more experience to proove himself one of the really good F1 racing drivers.

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