Senna plays down Williams rumours

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Bruno Senna plays down rumours of a switch to Williams.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Bruno Senna on Facebook

“Despite some rumours, my situation remains the same as before, i.e., I’m still not confirmed with any team and still battling for a place in F1. Super thanks for the crowd! Let’s keep fighting!”

The Concorde Agreement (Joe Saward)

“There have been some stories in recent days about how some of the top Formula 1 teams may have already signed the Concorde Agreement for 2013 and beyond. This is not very likely, as it makes no sense given the restrictions that exist in the current Concorde Agreement.”

McLaren’s 50 Greatest Drivers no.13: Dan Gurney (McLaren)

“Dan Gurney played only a brief walk-on role in the McLaren F1 story, driving a handful of races for the team during the summer of 1970 in the wake of Bruce McLaren’s tragic death at Goodwood.”

Does F1 still need number two drivers? (Autosport, subscription required)

“[Jarno Trulli] fell out with [Flavio] Briatore and was out of the team before the end of the season, the consequence of his performances being too good. ‘I don’t want to say too much about that situation because I want to keep away from politics,’ says Trulli of his experience. ‘I’m not the kind of person who wants to slam people that are not here anymore and I’m not the kind of person that feels harshly treated.'”

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Comment of the day

MinusTwo on Pippa Mann’s comments on being a female racing driver:

Did anyone else find Pippa Mann’s comments very interesting? The part about how she receives less discrimination in the States than in Europe really surprised me. It wasn’t at all what I expected.

Personally, I really hope there is a competitive female driver in F1.

Not only would it be super cool, I think it a lot of women might actually be better suited for the cockpit than many men, considering what is required for F1. An F1 driver is a bit like a horse-racing jockey: Lighter is better. Provided that someone is fit enough to withstand the forces in the car, a tiny female driver weighing 100lbs would be a huge advantage compared to a 170lb dude.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

Happy 27th birthday to Lewis Hamilton!

This will be Hamilton’s sixth year in Formula 1, and it remains the case that his age matches up with the model number of his McLaren: he will drive an MP4-27 this year.

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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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73 comments on “Senna plays down Williams rumours”

  1. COTD is A+

    1. I agree.

      Also, in addition to the size advantage a woman would have, conventional wisdom is that they’re better than men at multitasking, which would be a huge advantage in modern F1 compared to the last time a woman competed in the sport 20 years ago.

      1. Actually upon more careful inspection, I see that it’s been 20 years since the last female entry in F1, but 35 years since the last start.

        1. I don’t follow Indycar – we don’t get much coverage down here except for a thirty-second spot on the evening news when Will Power does well – but how good a racer is Pippa Mann? Everyone talked up the idea of Danica Patrick racing in Formula 1, but she was over-rated. Katherine Legge received less hype, but I do remember some rumours that she might join the grid back in 2007; sadly, she never really showed any potential. But I wonder … could Pippa Mann cut it in Formula 1?

          1. I really hope we see a female F1 driver soon. F1 shouldn’t be so male dominated, because really, it’s not a sport that involves brute strength and it’s not as if the drivers muscle the cars around corners. The chances of there being an agile, fit (no, not that kind of fit…), nimble lady with fast reflexes and great stamina are no less than the chances of there being a male with those abilities. I think they’re the most important assets for an F1 driver to have, and the only thing stopping female F1 drivers is probably the lack of girls that start motor racing from a young age, whereas there’s an abundance of boys. And when there’s so many young talents coming through the ranks, it’s difficult to pick a single female driver over the rest. If 50% of racing drivers were women, then I assume 50% of F1 drivers would be female.

            I think it will be a few years yet – and maybe not even in this decade – but there is no reason why a woman could not be capable.

          2. F1 shouldn’t be so male dominated

            Maybe, but there shouldn’t be a female driver for the sake of it.

          3. Maybe, but there shouldn’t be a female driver for the sake of it.

            Did you not read the rest of my comment?

        2. just been looking at wiki and found this:


          i had no idea that a female driver had ever won in a F1 race, if you count the British Aroura F1 series, and i’d never heard of that either.

          I’d like to see female drivers in F1. but do you think that a woman driver might have grid boys instead of grid girls holding the umbrellas at the start? Not so up for that prospect! :-/

          1. Luigi Carneiro
            9th January 2012, 9:46

            Desiré and her husband Alan Wilson are great friends of my family and the have been helping my boy Bruno, race in karts here in the US for the past 5 years. There is a great book that was just released about Des written by Alan called ” Driven by Desire” and published by Veloce books. You can find it at
            She is a fantastic racer and an example of class and knowledge.

      2. Not sure about multitasking, I know couples where it works the other way around :-). But joking aside, by conventional wisdom women are also better drivers on streets because they are less aggressive and don’t tend to take being passed personaly, which is a big disadvantage when it comes to racing (which famous driver said something about F1 racers being too stupid to think about dangers of racing? sounds like Andretti). Thus it is not quite clear whether talent for racing is actually more freequent among men or among women.

        However, I strongly suspect that whatever the balance is, the difference is not too significant. Only a tiny fraction of both men and women have the making of a great racer and therefore the key question is how big is the pond where you fish. I am convinced that we will start seeing women in F1 on regular basis only when they begin to appear in large numbers in carting, lower formulae and car racing in general.

        So while I would not mind girls racing in f1 (after all, my compatriot Eliska Junkova made it into the top tier in the 20’s, including a very respectable showing in1928 Targa Florio), I do not expect it any time soon.

        1. oops
          making of -> makings of
          sorry for hurting your eyes.

        2. @ph, you write

          by conventional wisdom women are also better drivers on streets because they are less aggressive and don’t tend to take being passed personaly, which is a big disadvantage when it comes to racing

          While I tend to agree with the first part of that, I am not sure being less agressive when being overtaken/overtaking is a disadvantage. Just look at the critisizm towards Hamilton, Schumacher and Massa, not to mention Maldonado for being too personal about it instead of keeping their calm and get on driving.

    2. I’m a grass root racer and honestly would love to see a female driver who has talent.

      I sincerely fear that the next female driver would be pushed into F1 based on sponsor backing and will then proceed to give women drivers an even worse look.

      For every female driver in grass root motorsport in the US there are about 50-100 male drivers. I havent really, yet, come across a female driver who I would wow, thats someone with something special. And more importantly I dont think that special talent will come around until there is a 50-50 ratio of women drivers to male drivers in grass root motorsport.


    3. It’s a funny situation this one. On the one hand, I don’t want people making a big deal about the lack of female drivers in F1, at the risk of making women sound like a charity case. But on the other hand it would be very interesting, if only from a technical point of view.

      My feeling is that the real problem would lie with the sponsors, not with the teams.

      1. Because no companies use women to promote their goods???

        The target demographic for motorsports advertising still remains one with a significant number of males in it…they wouldn’t be more attracted to a product promoted by a woman than a man?

        1. @adrian-j Unfortunately this is a very male dominated industry as you said. The ‘novelty’ of a woman driver would certainly attract a crowd but I can’t help but think that there is no one daring to take the initial plunge and be the first to back a woman in a long time.

  2. the way i remember it after his error at final corner in france and then his big accident in silverstone trulli(not for the first time) lost his head and confidence and went 6 races or so without any points. and was therefore replaced.

    1. If I remember rightly, no reason was ever given for Trulli’s departure. But he did accuse the team of favouring Alonso at a time when he and Alonso were reasonably equal, only for Alonso to get a string of good results while Trulli nosedived.

      Given what we know about Briatore’s driver management – he only ever ran two cars because he was obligated to – it would not surprise me if Trulli was dropped because the team cut him off when he posed a threat to Alonso.

      1. not really cos they would of done that earlier in the season, and trulli always says alonso was his favourite team mate.

        No doubt they jarno and flav fell out, but they fell out cos of flavio tore him a new a** for letting rubens get 3rd in france.

        He then had the accident at silverstone and like this year with the power steering he totally lost his way. He blamed the chassis. I was a big jarno and fernando fan at the time, still am. Jarno had a great start to that season but he simply lost his way and never recovered. It happened to him at prost and jordan. and to a less extent toyota.

        Im not defending flavio but they had plenty of chance to screw him over in the 2yrs before if they wanted to.

        And they also allowed him to start his toyota contract early too, so it cant of been all bad.

        1. I don’t recall Flavio Braitore ever being confrontational – not unless it was a fight he absolutely knew he could win. His preferred weapons were always more subversive, things that did damage without appearing to have come from him. Briatore was very concerned with his image (he seemed to think that team principals and driver managers were the real stars of Formula 1), and he would never do anything to jeopardise it.

          1. He was furious with jarno for losing a renault 2-3 at france, it was well documented at the time.

            how he went about showing his fury is neither here nor there, but from that moment on his days were finished at renault. Bit harsh, but his performance also fell off a cliff.

      2. I agree, I think it very likely that Trulli was getting too close to Alonso for Briatores comfort.

  3. Say what you want about Trulli, but he’s classy.

    1. Although I think his time has come, unfortunately. I’m a fan, but I can’t see anything amazing for him if he stays in F1 other than a few top 15 finishes. It’s hardly an exciting thought considering Trulli is quite talented and a very quick driver.

  4. I’d be willing to bet that there won’t be a woman driver in F1 for at least the next 20 years. And secondly, and I know I’ll get a lot of heat for this, I’m not sure I want to see a woman driver in F1. It just…doesn’t seem right. I like the image of F1 as kind of this chivalrous, masculine, courageous sport that eschews much of the modern, Liberal interpretations of women’s role in athletics. Now, I have nothing against women’s sports, but I like how F1 is one of the last bastions of raw male bravado and athleticism. Again, that’s just my opinion.

    1. It will happen sooner than later. The marketing machines need their fuel.

    2. I can’t agree, the top flight of many sports like Football (all codes) Tennis, even Golf, is, and always will be, Mens. F1 is one sport where women can compete on even terms physically, they may even have a COG and weight advantage. I want to see the best drivers race, regardless of their sex. I would love to see a female driver for the sole reason that is seems to be very sexist at the moment, and because of that we may just be missing out on some special drivers.

    3. I wouldn’t mind women driver’s in F1… As long as it’s as a matter of course and the media doesn’t overdo it too much… Otherwise it’ll turn a positive thing into a nightmare to watch.

      … … Having said that, there are many women in F1… Some quite high up… Just not in the cars yet.

    4. I have nothing against women’s sports, but I like how F1 is one of the last bastions of raw male bravado and athleticism.

      What if there is a female driver out there who has the raw talent of someone like Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso? In other words, a woman who can not only hold her own in the sport, but experience success on an unprecedented level. Surely she would deserve a place in Formula 1?

    5. I reckon that’s a bet worth taking , as said before, brute strength is not required, light weight and a low center of gravity are the prime physical attributes giving a natural advantage to females, which combined with the marketing advantage an attractive woman in a mans world has makes it almost inevitable.

      1. I’m quite sure that the weight distribution would be quite a negligible factor! Haha! :D

  5. I think Dan Gurney is my favourite American racing driver, he’s like the Steve McQueen of F1 drivers

    1. Agreed. He seems like a genuinely warm person. It’s thanks to him that we have the tradition of spraying champagne on the podium too!

      1. Do you like that then? I find it annoying that someone’s once funny joke is milked to death

        1. people think that’s normal. when i win a major sporting event, i’m going to drink my champagne from a huge, ornate cup, and people will be shocked.

          maybe someone can help me with this – there was a le mans winner that did the entire race dressed for dinner, so he wouldn’t have to change once he won. or so the story goes. not to be confused with the drunk racers :P

  6. Go back 18 years and you could have had the same headline as we have right now.

  7. go away Bruno! Sutil is faster than you, do you understand? he is more deserving of the seat.

    1. Completely agree. I was really hoping Bruno would ring the neck of that Renault and show some great things, but everytime I saw his on board it looked like he was just coasting around the track in an underwhelming fashion.

      Maybe I’m being too harsh, but I do believe Sutil is much more deserving of a drive than Bruno even if he is a nice guy.

      1. The Renault was in bad shape most of the time in the Asian races and Bruno entered only in the 12th GP, a massive disadvantage in a time there is no testing during the season. Sutil is a more experienced driver but he is not more talented than Bruno. His talent (Sutil) is more developed but Bruno can become even better than him if he is given time to develop as a driver in a full season.

        Compare Bruno Senna and Damon Hill and you will see that the brazilian showed more talent in junior categories. Hill took 10 years to get to F1 since he started racing in cars. Bruno Senna took just 4 full seasons to get to the Honda test and match Jenson Button on speed. The difference was that in Hill days there was no restrictions on testing while Bruno got to F1 precisely at a time when testing during the season was cancelled and even before a season it became very limited. But Bruno Senna deserved more to be in Brawn in 2009 than Damon Hill deserved to be in Williams in 1993, as he had much better results in junior categories. Hill has 0 race wins in F3000, the GP2 of his time. Bruno Senna won 3 races in GP2 and was second in the championship (2008).

        Senna was just very unlucky in 2009, as he was left without a drive due to Honda retirement. Without that he would have entered F1 at the right time, in 2009, and he would have established himself in F1. He had results to be in F1 without paying anything and he would be a much better driver by now. Even so, he still can succeed in F1 if he gets that Williams drive.

    2. @sato113 @david-a @john-h Deserving is a relative term in F1. Relative to the amount of money you can bring.

      1. I fear that comment is all to true @andrewtanner

    3. Sutil has a more developed talent than Bruno. Otherwise Bruno would be at least as good as Sutil if not better. But one has full five seasons under his belt while the other has just one and even that with a car that was not really a F1.

  8. Hope Hamilton have a Massa free 2012 F1 season.

  9. Honestly, I don’t care if a woman ever races in F1 or not. Its not something I cheer for, or am really opposed to. Its sexist either way. Just let those who are the most competitive compete.

    1. @xbx-117 Could not agree more.

  10. I think that two cars is great right now, but at the same time I could see the advantage of a single car, for teams and fans. A single car for each team would be so much easier to build, maintain and afford but could also open a massive door for manufactures that engine size changes alone wouldn’t be able to do possibly. Not only would one car be easier to do, but finding a single outright driver to bring home both championships would be a new task in and of itself, and newer teams like HRT, Virgin and less Caterham (now) would be able to come in their first season and possibly not find it so hard.

    Ferrari are asking for more cars, to just buy up all the good drivers in a given season and win the WCC by good finishes rather than race wins. Yet I think if the one car were run and Ferrari paid out the nose for a great driver like Vettel, Hamilton, Button or just stuck with Alonso then they’d have an easier chance at those world titles and the same can easily be said for other teams. To me a single car team can easily build a vehicle around their one driver and probably give them what is needed.

    Fans would find this easier because if a manufacture or privateer their country built cars or not having to see a second driver from their country default to team orders and give up a victory would be much more fun to follow. A second car seems like the anchor that brings in the backend of what is need for a team to win, whether that be understanding the car of the season better or getting those final point to get them that much higher in the WCC. However, motorsports isn’t about a single car and always seems to be about team mates on the track that is until the checkered is waved then it’s all about that guy in P1

  11. lewis can keep the cars, i want to be 27 again

  12. I wonder whether AT&T’s rumoured $7m tile sponsorship deal ended the same day that OGX tweet about Senna driving for Williams happened?

    1. @gridlock

      Williams’ comments about being in advanced negotiations with another telecom company for title sponsorship rights suggest that they have been aware that the contract with AT&T was coming to an end for some time now. I can find no evidence that AT&T terminated the deal early; we just missed it all in the speculation over the identity of Williams’ second driver.

      Consequently, I think people are reading too much into things like that Tweet from Eike Batista, looking for possible clues about who Williams will take before the announcement is made. OGX is owned by the EBX Group, a Brazilian holding company. EBX are primarily in the mineral and resource sector (OGX is a natural gas provider), and do not have any interests in telecommunications, which is at odds with Williams’ statement about negotiating with a telco company.

      I suspect Batista was looking to score a little free publicity, using the speculation and media interest over the second driver to get a little attention.

      1. Although getting Bruno Senna in the spotlight might have been an additional advantage there!

  13. in the mclaren top 50 kimi is only 15th!! and below gerhard berger and only just in front on montoya.

    now that is a list that is hard to take seriously.

    1. that surprised me too..seems like a bit of resentment towards kimi for leaving mclaren to join ferrari

      1. Maybe the way he never won a World Championship with them had something to do with it.

        1. He came closer than Gunrey and Berger.

        2. @prisonermonkeys
          tough to take anything u say abt kimi as relevant

    2. tbh, considering who’s still missing on the list, I think that’s as high as I’d put Kimi

      1. I think JPM had more talent Kimi, but the record book’s don’t really reflect that.

        1. juan pablo may well have, but the list is about what they achieved at mclaren.

          and for this list to say berger did more than kimi is laughable.

          remember kimi had to endure some unreliable mclarens, and went through the whole 2002-04 failed mess where mclaren ditched a car for 03 and ran the 02 car…which kimi nearly won the title in. and then when the 04 car ran it was a total dog.

          im not kimi’s biggest fan but he did things in that mclaren that very few others could of.

  14. I doubt u could name 14 drivers who contributed more to mclaren than kimi

    1. This was in reply to skodarap

      1. let’s see… by following their rules of using no active drivers and using drivers from other series McLaren competed in (CanAm – I presume by seeing the names of Gurney and Donohue so high on the list)

        Lauda, Hunt, Prost, Revson, Senna, Hulme, Fittipaldi, Coulthard, Hakkinen, Watson, Button, McLaren himself, Gurney and Berger.

        There ya go

        1. *ooops, not Button, my mistake

          Add Rutherford to the list instead

        2. How is berger better than kimi?

          1. and add to that DC. how is he better than kimi?

          2. Over the Years they have shown incredible bravery, amazing talent, unbridled enthusiasm and huge dedication to the cause. They are the men who have driven a McLaren racing car. Over the next year we will be counting down the 50 who have had the greatest impact on the McLaren cause.

            Did you read this on the site? If we’d go only by who’s better than who, I’d put Mansell, Villeneuve, Ickx, Surtees and Piquet ahead of Kimi.

          3. I think you’d be hard pressed to claim that Mansell, Piquet and Villeneuve had a greater impact at Mclaren than Kimi. None of them did more than 3 races, some of them were driving private entries.

            You may rate their careers higher than the Iceman, but I think that Kimi’s achievements at and contribution to the Mclaren team were significantly less.

  15. Totally agree with the COTD, if there’s a woman who can outdrive Trulli (using the same equipment), then she should join the club. I’m against women in F1 if they are hired only for marketing purposes but if Jutta Kleinschmidt could win Dakar rally then I don’t see the reason why some other lady couldn’t do the same in F1.

    1. Exactly, these are the kind of female drivers that should be at the top of motorsports, with the men that are already there!

  16. The rumours about Senna at Williams grown up in Brazil because Eike Batista wrote on Twitter:

    “That’s simple, he’s going to race for Williams!” (!/eikebatista/status/155052730812076032)

    He was answering a follower about what’s going to happen with Senna in 2012.

    Eike Batista is the man who backed Senna at Lotus Renault last year. He owns brazilian EBX Group (

  17. Happy Birthday RagingInferno (lets just hope for your sake, the Inferno wont rage too much :-D ) and!

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