Bruno Senna secures Williams drive for 2012

2012 F1 season

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Bruno Senna joins Williams for 2012

Bruno Senna has secured one of the two remaining seats in F1 for 2012.

Senna will take Rubens Barrichello’s place at Williams.

He said: “I feel very privileged that Williams has selected me as one of their race drivers. 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.”

Senna made his F1 debut with HRT in 2010 and started eight races for Renault last year. Williams will use Renault engines once more this year.

The move is rich in symbolism. Ayrton Senna, Bruno’s uncle, was in his third race for Williams-Renault when he lost his life in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

Senna added: “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.”

Frank Williams said: “Bruno only started racing when he was 20 years old but quickly proved his talent in F3 and GP2.

“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 Bruno’s 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.”

Barrichello, who will lose his place at the team to Senna, was the most successful Brazilian drivers in the years following Ayrton’s death, and wore a helmet in the style of his late idol’s in last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

The only remaining seat left for the 2012 season is alongside Pedro de la Rosa at HRT.

See the updated list of 2012 F1 drivers and teams.

2012 F1 season

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Image © Williams/LAT

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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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226 comments on “Bruno Senna secures Williams drive for 2012”

  1. “Senna, Williams-Renault”


    1. Doubly so if he keeps that helmet and the team retains their retro livery.

      1. If you look at him in this picture (via @willbuxton) in profile with the light shining on his face like that. Now imagine that in the Williams-Renault garage or in the car. Spooky indeed.

    2. Except this time it’s a paying Senna rather than one worth actually paying.

    3. Don’t worry. His real name is not Senna.

      1. Wrong, his name is Bruno Senna Lalli.

        Latin American naming conventions give you the name of your mother and your father.

        They can be used however they wish. It’s unmistakable that he is a decedent of the Senna line.

        1. “Latin-american naming conventions?” So now we throw CEOs from Mexico City, german descents in southern Brazil and quechua natives in Bolivia all in the same bucket?
          Face it, the guy followed the near-worldwide sexist rule of naming a child after his father’s family, and shove his uncle’s surname (which has his mother’s) because we wanted people and sponsors alike to relate him to the late Senna.


            Mothers name first, fathers second. Sting wasn’t born sting, he can call himself what he wants. Lucky him!

          2. Actually, the Spanish ex Prime Minister (Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero), takes his second surname (his mother’s surname) as his main surname rather than his father’s surname(Rodriguez).

          3. … just as Ayrton did. Senna was his mother’s name too.

      2. Dont worry Ayrton Senna is actually Ayrton Silva! I’m sick and tired of this name crap.

    4. OMG!! Hopefully Williams will have a top 5 car!!

  2. Worst kept secret ever!

  3. This is a shame, not just for Rubens (who unless he lands the HRT seat, didn’t get the proper send off he deserves) but for Adrian Sutil. Yes, he only has himself to blame for what happened but in the latter half of 2011 he proved himself to be a quality driver who is worthy of a seat in one of the top teams, never mind the lower midfield. Then there’s the likes of Alguersuari and Buemi, both of whom I feel are better than Senna but are without a seat.

    1. The problem with the candidates you’ve mentioned is that they’ve all had a fair shot at F1 in semi decenty cars and ultimately shown that they’re not worth the trouble. Bruno is really yet to have that.

      1. Well, personally I think all those candidates @dan-thorn mentions really are better drivers than Bruno, @steph!

        But I guess both the team and Bruno will have a point to prove in the coming season, so let’s hope both make the most of it. At least they should have a clear target of finishing higher up the order!

        1. Buemi and Alg basically battled it out to see who was acceptably average with only Buemi winning in my mind due to more bad luck and greater consistency. I could speak at length about how little Sutil’s achieved in five years in F1 but the silence of my keyboard when trying to list what he’s done says it all :P

          Bruno did a solid job in the HRT which was by far the worst car on the grid, came in the Renault with no experience and outqualified Vitaly. Sure, he’s been inconsistent but he’s had nowhere near as much time as those three and might have as much talent. I’m glad he’s getting a chance because of his lack of experience. Williams should have a superstar to bring them back but they’re not so they may as well go for a rookie who might be good than one of the three who have shown to be mediocre a lot of the time. I’m sorry if that’s harsh on them but they’ve had their chance and F1 and done very little. At the very least F1 should have some fresh blood.

          1. I’ll also add that I believe (not exactly sure why) Williams when they say that based on their assessment of Senna that he came off very well. I wish I had sources, but I think I remember hearing good things from his engineers- either at Renault or HRT- who, having proper telemetry access, are best qualified to judge a driver’s pace.

            Also, about his evaluation, analysing him on-track sounds like he had a private test of some kind. I wonder if that would have been compared to their existing times or whether they tested a couple of drivers, and what class of car was driven.

          2. I liked him as a GP2 driver and his season with HRT was OK.

          3. Adrian did a solid job in the Spyker, which was by far the worst car on the grid. Overall I think he has done a good job in his four years at Force India. What kind of performances did you expect? Did you expect him to win a race or so in the fifth-fastest car at best?

          4. Interesting. I really think ALG has performed well and shown future promise too. I don’t think Bruno has actually badly considering but if both him and Alg were in the same car I would be very surprised to see Bruno come out on top. In fact, I think most of us would bet for Alguersuari.

      2. @Steph I ain’t sure about Buemi but I believe Sutil has proved that he belongs to ‘tier 2’ of F1 drivers. Not exactly a superstar like Alonso, sometimes inconsistent but mostly a decent, solid, pretty strong driver just like Kovalainen, Webber, Glock, Barrichello or Fisichella. Sutil has outperformed most of his team mates so far and his performances were pretty equal to Fisichella’s when both were team mates.

        OK, Barrichello is really ‘old’ and should probably retire but Sutil is just 29. Should every F1 driver who has spent 5/4/3 years in F1 and hasn’t become a superstar leave and give way to new guys? I don’t think so. If that was the case, I believe we wouldn’t see Button in F1 these days.

        1. Outperformed most of his team mates? I have to disagree. Fisi was his longest serving team mate irrc and was at the end of his career but generally Fisi still beat Sutil. The other two were Liuzzi and a rookie who immediately was more impressive, is already highly rated and just going to get better and beat Sutil more often. Sutil’s had more than enough time to show he can achieve something or deliver but he just hasn’t got it. I don’t really agree with your tier 2 assessment either but I can see where you’re coming from :):P

          As for your final paragraph no, but they have to show quickly that they have something worth keeping around. Sutil’s had half a decade and not done that.

          1. like he says going on this logic button would of been history after 2001

  4. This is nadir for williams.
    I have lost respect for this team, I mean two paid drivers!!
    I am aware of all financial implications behind the driver deals, but then how little teams like Force India, Sauber preferred meritocracy.

    1. FI who get help from Mcl/Merc ? It’s easy for them. I don’t blame Williams if they need pay drivers and I think Bruno has some talent but it’s just a sad state of things. Plus, Pastor may be easy to hate but he did better against Rubens than the Hulk in the final qualifying scorecard

    2. Ok, sorry @vikky this isn’t necessarily a post in response to yours, it is a response to all of the people who will be crying “pay driver”:

      The world has changed. Corporates no longer have squillions of dollars to throw at F1 teams in order to showcase their brands at the highest level of sport. Because of this, F1 teams are starting to feel the pinch. I see no reason why we should all point and laugh at drivers who will have managed to get hold of an F1 seat for 2012 partly because they have a bit of a budget behind them, it is just a sign of the times. The world has changed and so has F1.

      And while I’m at it, the term “pay driver” doesn’t have the same connotations today as it did in the early 90’s. Drivers like Senna and Maldonado cannot be compared to pay drivers of yesteryear like Deletraz or Belmondo. Modern racing drivers have to come with skill and a budget, it’s just the way it is!

      1. @GeeMac : I could partially digests some of the things you highlighted.
        But emotions are bound to run high when proven players like Sutil, Alg, Petrov and Rubens are sidelined.
        I saw them perform, may be I may have to eat my words about Bruno, but the above 4 have more earned their places.

        1. But emotions are bound to run high when proven players like Sutil, Alg, Petrov and Rubens are sidelined.

          Proven? In what? :P Sorry, couldn’t resist. Bruno isn’t proven but that isn’t always a bad thing. Maybe he’s worth a risk and the cash than any journeyman. Plus, if it is just about the money then if they only went with talent then the team maybe would collapse and we’d have two less drivers on the grid. Paydrivers aren’t always a bad thing- Lauda was one after all.

          1. Maybe he’s worth a risk and the cash than any journeyman.

            I agree. Plus, for similar reasons to why Renault/Lotus took Raikkonen, Senna is valuable to Williams in more ways than one. Yes, he brings a fair budget boost (we all read), but he also brings potential and sellability – all of which Barrichello, Sutil and Jaime can’t match, I’m afraid.

            I’m going to back him. Maybe more should give him a full (including pre) season’s chance.

        2. @vickky I’m not saying they haven’t but the simple fact is that life isn’t fair, professional sport isn’t fair and F1 certainly isn’t fair!

        3. Not saying Bruno is a “pay driver”, although I think its undeniable, that the marketing appeal of the Senna name and the sponsors he brings in do him no little favour over other candidates.

          I will let an anecdote posted on twitter speak for me @adamcooperf1

          When @BSenna scored his first GP2 win, I asked Ron Dennis what it meant to see the name back. He just said it was a weak series!

          An interesting read about Bruno not being a pay driver is the autosport interview where he says Williams evaluated his skills thoroughly. I am sure they did (was that one of the reasons they did not agree with signing Kimi?), and I am sure Bruno is not unworthy of F1.

          But I do think Williams could have done better for a lineup

      2. agree with you 100%

    3. I think your wrong there Senna did show speed for Renault e.g Spa and he could have only beaten his team mate who was average in a car that wnet more backward than forwards.

      It will be very intriguing to see a Senna drive the WIlliams Renault, I never saw his uncle drive cause I wasn’t born but I hope this is not a nostalgic tug from Williams to attract sponsors and that they have a good car this season to get the last spots in Q3 and the points.

    4. Unless I’ve missed it, I don’t think Embratel have yet announced their sponsorship of Williams…judging by the logo on Bruno’s shirt, that press release must be imminent!

      Whilst I feel sorry for Barrichello and Sutil, I am quite excited to see how Senna gets on. Big risk for Williams taking two relatively inexperienced drivers – especially when they’re having a real problem developing quick cars – but hopefully it’ll pay off.

      1. Is Gillette just a personal sponsor of Senna, or will they follow him onto the Williams (they are on his shirt too)?

        1. @matt90 It’s not a personal sponsor, but they’ve evidently followed him. (He’s also attracted Head & Shoulders, by the looks of things – the secret to his glossy mane?)

  5. Seems like Rubens is retiring from F1 whether he likes it or not. Certainly hoping he doesn’t choose to spend his final years at HRT relegated to the back of the field.

    1. To add, I am thoroughly disappointed that the likes of Sutil, Jamie, Buemi and Heidfeld are without drives over lesser drivers including Senna, Maldonado, DeLa Rosa, and given current form, I’d include Trulli to that list. It only really is a battle for the top seats in the sport, and the rest of the field appears to be next to an advertisement billboard for sponsors or a rookie training facility. These are hardly the best drivers the world has to offer.

      1. I think Bruno deserves the chance, but I agree that Maldonado, De La Rosa and Trulli do not deserve to be on the grid this year.

        Its a shame Sutil isn’t on the grid.

        1. Maldonado was better than Barrichello in some itens in 2011, so I think he deserves to be in F1. Overall he did better than Hulkenberg did in 2010 and he will give a hard time to Bruno this year. I believe he would do the same even with Sutil, as he has one year experience within the team.

    2. So, farewell Barrichello (I doubt he is going to HRT). The only driver, I remember so far, that have left gracefully F1 was Michael Schumaker, but everbody knows what happened. Anybody knows, in the recent F1 history, any other driver that was in a competitive team and had decided that their time had past and gracefully stepped down?

      1. Hakkinen comes to mind. Thought initially it was a sabbatical.

        And Raikkonen… before his return.

        1. I agree with Hakkinen, but as far I can remember, Raikkonen was kicked out of Ferrari to make room for Alonso.

        2. I’d say David Coulthard could be considered to be one as well. After all, the kid who took his seat then finished second in the WDC in 2009!

          1. Coulthard would have had a fantastic sendoff if we wasn’t taken out at the first corner :(

        3. and maybe Montoya

          1. Not sure it’s all that graceful to leave mid-season, even if it is mutual.

      2. Does Alain Prost count as recent?

        1. Definitely another good example because a lot of teams would be happy to have him as a driver by the time he retired.

  6. Bad for Williams. I know these days they need a pay driver (Maldonano), but partnering him with someone half decent Barrichello/Sutil seemed to be the sensible thing to do.

    Having two unproven/poor pay drivers is only going to see them struggle again. Sad for such a famous team.

    1. Jim (@vortexgenerator)
      17th January 2012, 13:38

      What they needed was consistency, I echo your statement that this isn’t going to work out in their favour.

  7. I’m overjoyed for Bruno, but saddened at the same time for Rubens. I don’t think Senna will ever be champion (he came into the sport a bit too late), but I’d love to see him in a top car. Bruno’s comeback performance in Spa last year showed that he’s not just a pay driver. He’s also one of the friendliest and most laid back drivers out there, which is ironic considering Senna was probably the exact opposite and very much a “full-on” type of man!

    I’m just so disappointed that Williams are in the position that they have to employ Pastor Maldonado purely for the money he brings if they want to stay in the sport. In a way, I hope Pastor’s funding dries up, but that would probably spell the end for Williams. Now that would be sad. I’m gutted that Rubens is missing out on a seat because of this. If Brazil last year was his last race, it was such an unfitting way for him to bow out of the sport.

    1. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if Petrobras is backing him and becomes a sponsor for Williams.

      1. OGX back him so unlikely to be Petobras, also Embratel.(Williams confirmed when AT&T left that they were in negotiations with another telecomms company)

    2. @damonsmedley I actually don’t believe that Senna is a better driver than Maldonado. They both have had a couple of remarkable performances (Maldonado in Monaco, Senna in Belgium) but I don’t think either has proved that he deserves to be in F1 on merit, at least not yet.

    3. I feel the same @damonsmedley . Senna in a Williams has its positive sides, mostly because it reminds of a succesful team and driver, when Bruno and the current Williams aren’t. It also reminds us of a dramtic moment for motorsport as Imola ’94, but this partnership can hopefully bring more positive things to be remembered.
      But I don’t think Senna’s that good a driver to deserve the seat more than Barrichello or Sutil. Maldonado even less so, but I’m not criticising the decision to keep him because I did so at the time it was announced.
      I don’t like Sutil much but this year he’s been awesome at times and a lot more consistent than before. He hasn’t set the world on fire in hid years in the sport, but I rate him higher than Senna.
      Barrichello also has shown amazing consistency in his 19 years in the sport and I knew his time was almost up but I hoped he could race for a 20th consecutive championship; I felt it would have repaid him of the second-driver treatment he received many times in his career. Also, after so long a period in F1, a good farewell would have been welcome, like Michael Schumacher at Brazil 2006. Instead, he himself didn’t know he was going to be sacked or he hoped he wouldn’t be.

      1. I agree @Fixy; it’s such a shame that Rubens may not drive again but none of us could celebrate his achievements in the way he deserved before he left.

  8. Farewell, Rubens.

  9. Well, that’s disappointing. Senna has been reported as beinging fourteen million Euros to the team. So I guess that means history will remember January 17th, 2012 as the beginning of the end for Williams – the day they took and over-rated and under-achieving pay driver over the far more capable (though less economically endowed) Adrian Sutil or Jaime Alguersuari.

    Williams is no longer recongiseable as the team that won nine Constructors’ Championship, seven drivers’ titles and has one hundred and thirteen race victories to their name. There was a time when they ran some of the all-time greats of the sport – Mansell, Prost, Rosberg, and of course, Ayrton Senna to name a few. And while they were in decline for a few years, the end of 2011 saw some light at the end of the tunnel; they were finally getting rid of their “aggressive design philosophy” that had brought them nothing by consistent inconsistency for years, and were starting to turn things around. now they’ve gone and thrown that all away with Bruno Senna and Pastor Maldonado as their drivers: the single most uninspiring and unexciting combination on the grid.

    As a long-time fan of the sport – though, I admit, I was never a fan of Williams the team – I have to confess that I’m feeling hurt and upset by this. I don’t want to see Williams F1 die a slow and inglorious death, but that is the fate that awaits them. If this is sounding like a eulogy, that’s because it is. The body is still moving, but the eyes are dead inside.

    1. Did we have the telepathy!

    2. @Prisoner-Monkeys They need money to get going again. I don’t like their line-up either, but who’s to say this much needed money won’t give them the boost required to put them back where they belong?

      1. @damonsmedley : As I posted earlier,how other teams with similar budget didn’t follow this route?

        1. What makes you so sure that Bruno Senna is not a good driver? Pastor Maldonado has shown us nothing but hotheadedness and immaturity, but Bruno looks to have a good head on his shoulders and has, on occasions, done something Pastor cannot; impress.

          1. That was meant to be in reply to @Prisoner-Monkeys, sorry.

          2. What makes you so sure that Bruno Senna is not a good driver?

            His consistent failure to out-qualify, out-race or generally out-perform a lowly-rated team-mate. I might be a Vitaly Petrov fan, but I am under no illusions as to Petrov’s standing in the paddock. The fact that Senna fared so poorly against him (out-qualified five times in eight races, out-raced five times in the six races they both finished, etc.) says to me that Bruno Senna does not have what it takes to make it in Formula 1. If he was Bruno Jones, he would have been shown the door months ago and nobody would think twice about it.

          3. If you are referring to his qualy in Spa, sorry, that was just “i” for impress?
            Although I am not debating Senna vs Pastor,but I found it strange that you choose to ignore Pastor’s performance in Monaco, Spa and making into Q3 thrice where Rubens could only manage 11th at best.
            My main point revolves around the fact that similar budgeted team preferring merits instead of all money!

          4. @Prisoner-Monkeys He came in with no-where near as much experience with the car as Petrov, so I’d actually say he did a fantastic job! And you can’t judge him based on his 2010 season, either, as the car let him down in every other race.

          5. It was Petrov’s 2nd year with the team, he had pre-season testing and a lot of experience from the car. When Senna got the seat, he only had a practice session and a test-day in the car under his belt.

          6. If you are referring to his qualy in Spa, sorry, that was just “i” for impress?

            Senna’s qualifying performance at Spa was impressive. His entry into La Source was not. Grand Prix weekends do not end on Saturday afternoon, so whatever goodwill Senna built up with seventh place was gone when he hit Alguersuari. And this was not an isolated incident, either – he had another top-ten qualifying performance in Brazil, only to hit Schumacher. He simply wilts under pressure. To make matters worse, Petrov scored points in both Belgium and Brazil after starting behind Senna.

          7. And you can’t judge him based on his 2010 season, either, as the car let him down in every other race.

            Every other driver gets judged based on his performances in every race he starts. Senna deserves the same treatment.

            I’m sorry, he might be a Senna, and that might make us all a little nostalgic, but I stand by my original assessment of him: on pace alone, he does not deserve to be in Formula 1. Not when there are drivers like Adrian Sutil and Jaime Alguersuari out there with no seats.

          8. I’m sorry PM, but I completely disagree. I don’t think Bruno is the next Vettel, but I think he deserves more credit than you’re giving him. He had two incidents last year and that’s enough for you to say he “simply wilts under pressure”?

            His crash at La Source was more than likely down to not knowing how the car would handle being filled with fuel, and his collision with Michael in Brazil was just a racing incident. The fact he got a penalty for it showed the FIA are consistent… Consistent in penalising the silliest of incidents.

          9. He had two incidents last year and that’s enough for you to say he “simply wilts under pressure”?

            Because both incidents came when he was running inside the top ten, and both incidents were deemed to be his fault by the stewards.

            But it’s not jsut two separate incidents – it’s a general lack of performance compared to his team-mate, who was not highly rated to begin with.

            And in case you’re wondering, this is not one of the thigns you can change my mind about. I believe Senna does not belong in Formula 1 just as much as I believe Formula 1 has no business making political statements in Bahrain.

          10. Because both incidents came when he was running inside the top ten, and both incidents were deemed to be his fault by the stewards.

            That doesn’t mean he wilts under pressure. Especially not the first one.

            But it’s not jsut two separate incidents – it’s a general lack of performance compared to his team-mate, who was not highly rated to begin with.

            As I said, it’s a little bit difficult to compare him to Vitaly when he had no-where near as much time in the car when he took over from Heidfeld. The fact that he was able to outqualify and outrace Petrov even once demonstrates to me that he certainly deserves a place in F1.

            I don’t expect you to change your mind, but I’m yet to see any decent reasons for you believing he doesn’t deserve a seat.

          11. Daniel Ricciardo performed admirably under similar – if not tougher – circumstances to Bruno. Why couldn’t Senna perform like that – after all, he’d been with the team all year, driven the car once in pre season testing, and had a season with HRT the year before – a season where he didn’t exactly dominate the lowly Karun Chandhok.

            Does Senna deserve a seat? Not at Williams – troubled as they may be, there are plenty of better drivers out there who would love that seat. I fully expect Maldonado to outperform Senna.

          12. I agree with PM. Senna is not good enough to be in F1.

          13. @damonsmedly, when you write

            but Bruno looks to have a good head on his shoulders and has, on occasions, done something Pastor cannot; impress.

            I think you forget that Maldonado did have some pretty impressive moments in Monaco as well. Just the car. And his temperament. But starting in the top 10 in Spa and then crashing into Jaime Alg. is not that impressive to me.

            And to add to what @Prisoner-monkeys wrote, just look at the start of Bruno in F1 – he was never really convincingly beating even Karun Chandhok in the HRT.

          14. I have to agree with PM, Senna has had his chance and he failed to impress. I don’t think he should be at Williams when there are better drivers who have no seat.

          15. Senna didn’t impress me at all, and that was compared to Petrov whom I don’t exactly rate highly.

            Senna, I have to say it, wouldn’t be in F1 if he had a different surname.

            I’d love him to do really well, but Senna is well below the standard that F1 deserves.

            Not only that, but to be there above Rubens, Sutil and Heidfeld. Oh and Jaime and Buemi…

            This really is quite ridiculous.

          16. @Prisoner-Monkeys @Mike @John-H @slr @BasCB @Dan-Thorn I just don’t understand why Bruno is getting so much hate when we’ve got de la Rosa, Trulli and Maldonado taking up seats that could be occupied by Rubens, Adrian, and Sébastien. Bruno is unproven. Therefore, you can’t definitively say he doesn’t deserve a seat. No-one really “deserves” a seat, but everyone with at least some potential deserves a shot before they can be criticised. Give him a chance, please. He may just make you eat your words yet. Even if he doesn’t, it’s still harsh to be judging him so early.

            As for Rubens, you could say he’s had enough time in F1, but that’s rubbish, and it’s completely ignoring the fact he’s still delivering. Someone like Trulli, however, is not doing anything at all and being dominated by his not-so-highly-rated team-mate Heikki Kovalainen. Rubens still has a lot to give and isn’t showing signs of slowing down, which is why it doesn’t seem right to me that Trulli and de la Rosa get seats instead of him.

            And it’s not Williams’ fault that Sutil, Alguersuari, Buemi, and Heidfeld don’t have seats, so I don’t see why the team is copping so much hate. I don’t like Pastor, but I also understand why the team chose him. I’m sure they’d rather have Rubens, but at this stage, he’s probably not an option.

          17. I just don’t understand why Bruno is getting so much hate when we’ve got de la Rosa, Trulli and Maldonado taking up seats that could be occupied by Rubens, Adrian, and Sébastien.

            De la Rosa is good for Hispania. They are in serious need of someone who can develop the car, and de la Rosa has been McLaren’s test driver for years. He is exactly what the team needs right now – and that’s something neither Sutil nor Buemi can offer.

            Trulli is entirely unnecessary at Caterham (though I get the impression he has convinced himself that he is). Popular rumour places Vitaly Petrov there, and the fifteen million Euros he is believed to have on offer will be of particular benefit to the team trying to make the final step and compete for points. They already have a talented and experienced driver in Kovalainen, so between him and Petrov, there is nothing Sutil, Buemi or Barrichello could offer.

            Maldonado is not so much good for Williams as he is a necessary evil. He brings an estimated forty million Euros to the team through PDVSA, money that can be put to good use developing the car. Senna brings a fraction of that, and none of the experience that Barrichello or Sutil could offer. Senna is simply the wrong choice for the team. He is not what they need right now.

          18. @damonsmedley I don’t hate Senna, but I think hasn’t done enough of competant job to deserve the seat above others. You may not believe that Senna has had a proper oppotunity, but I disagree. A full year with Hispania and just under half a year with Renault is enough. What I gathered with Senna in 2010 was that he may not be gentle with the car as itconstantly broke down, whilst Chandhok and Yamamoto were finishing races. At Renault, he had support of the team which Heidfeld didn’t have, and he was still generally slower that Petrov. His error in Belgium was amateurish, and in Brazil he should have backed off.

            Like PM, I think de la Rosa is a good driver and Hispania could do with his experience. He proved himself in the few races he had with McLaren, and did a competant job at Sauber.

            Maldonado in my opinion did enough in 2011 to earn himself a second year with Williams. He matched up to Barrichello fairly well, when many thought Barrichello would destroy him.

            I agree that Trulli is past it, but guys like Sutil, Buemi, Heidfeld, Alguersuari and Wickens deserve seats in front Senna.

        2. How do you know what their real budget is, and how much each of the drivers is paid/paying? Unless you are on the board of all the teams all you have is speculation and guesswork which are meaningless.

      2. They need money to get going again.

        They’re already getting it from Maldonado.

        who’s to say this much needed money won’t give them the boost required to put them back where they belong?

        Bruno Senna and Pastor Maldonado. Neither is capable of driving at the level Williams has displayed at the past. While their money might make the FW34 better than the FW33, we’re unlikely to know it.

        1. I though the whol point of the IPO was to raise the capital required to continue in a positive vein rather than having to make further concessions to pay drivers and the sponsors they bring. Brunno Senna has not had the chances others have but given Williams current lack of form and restructuring it would have made more sense to retain Rubens for another season at least, it seems a big gamble give Rubens experience.

        2. They’re already getting it from Maldonado.

          Suppose, they are hedging against possible problems with Maldonado if Chavez loses his 2012 reelection bid. And what alternatives do they have? Sutil was probably eliminated because of Lux incident trial. Alguersuari? For starters, may be he isn’t all that interested trying to land reserve driver job in some top team like Buemi did (and I would say it is a better opportunity for him to enhance his market standing than Williams drive). Anyway I think in their strategy Williams has already reserved the place of a “young prospect” for Bottas. Raikkonen? We don’t really know who dumped whom in their courtship. May be it was Kimi’s initiative. Rubens? Judging by 2011 car his engineering input is a little bit overestimated and he doesn’t have Michael’s marketing appeal to keep racing after 40. Vitaly? I would like to see it happen but on pure racing terms it won’t make much difference for Williams. On the marketing side they are busy looking for new title sponsor. And if this possible sponsor isn’t interested in Russian economy Vitaly is irrelevant while Senna’s name is always an asset.

          1. Vitaly? I would like to see it happen but on pure racing terms it won’t make much difference for Williams.

            Multiple sources in England, Germany and Brazil are all reporting that Petrov will join Caterham, with an announcement expected soon.

          2. they are hedging against possible problems with Maldonado if Chavez loses his 2012 reelection bid

            The elections don’t take place until October. PDVSA will have paid Williams well in advance before there. There is no danger of suddenly losing the money in 2012.

        3. While their money might make the FW34 better than the FW33, we’re unlikely to know it.

          Great point PM. The difference a good driver can make versus a below par driver is huge in F1 terms. These guys will always be running half a second off the pace – a time difference that will cost the team millions of pounds to make up through car development.

      3. So, it seems to me that you really think Bruno would be slower if he raced as Bruno Lalli.

        Let’ s think a little bit: how can someone be blamed for something that any racing driver would do in his place? Anyway if he raced as Bruno Lalli everyone would know he was Ayrton nephew the same way. What do you suggest he should do? Not to go racing? Why? Just because he is not son of Ayrton? That doesn’ t make any sense.

        Damon Hill was son of Graham Hill and that is one of the reasons he was not as much criticised by some people as Bruno. But Hill also had the advantage of a famous name and look at what he did in junior categories – he took 10 years to get to F1 and never won a single race in F3000. Bruno took just 4 full seasons in junior categories, won 3 races in GP2 and was second in the championship. He was never champion, but the same can be said about many good drivers who made it to F1, in past and present.

        One example: how many titles did Niki Lauda win before getting to F1 in 1971/1972? None. But in F1 he was a triple world champion.

        Really, I don’ t think Bruno is special (he spent too much time out of racing after Ayrton’s death) but certainly deserves respect for what he did in a short period of time. Also luck has not been on his side, he could have started with Honda in 2009 but the japanese quit and he was left without a drive. Without that he could be a much better driver by now, much more developed.

        1. So, it seems to me that you really think Bruno would be slower if he raced as Bruno Lalli.

          No, I think Bruno Senna will be slow, whatever name he uses.

          One example: how many titles did Niki Lauda win before getting to F1 in 1971/1972? None. But in F1 he was a triple world champion.

          How is that proof of anything?

          1. Compare Damon Hill and Bruno Senna in junior categories and you’ll see Bruno showed much more talent. He deserved more to be in Brawn in 2009 than Hill deserved to be in Williams in 1993. The difference was that in Hill days testing was almost unlimited while Bruno got to F1 precisely when testing during the season was cancelled and even before a season it became very limited.

    3. The worst part of all this, I should add, is that Williams had the chance to reverse their fortunes when they were talking to Kimi Raikkonen. I might not like Kimi, and I might not understand the appeal of him, but I do know that he is the kind of driver Frank Williams would have head-hunted were he racing twenty years ago. He’s one of four top-class drivers (the others being Hakkinen, Schumacher and Alonso) who never raced for Williams. The team had their chance to get him and to start making progress, but they let him slip through their fingers.

      1. Adam Parr has ruined Williams. Well, what do you expect from an investment banker.

        1. Adam Parr has ruined Williams. Well, what do you expect from an investment banker.

          Sorry @JohnH but I don’t think one man can ever ruin a team unless it’s the boss of everything of everything just as one man is never responsible for a team’s success plus Williams have been in decline for longer than Parr was appointed to take over the day to day running. It’s a shame I’m saying this as I wanted to agree with you after your nice Massa/Ferrari comment the other day! :P

          1. @Steph Yes you’re right of course, it’s not down to one man think I was in a bad mood earlier! In some ways the big turning point was the fallout with BMW in 2006, just before Parr arrived took over.

            Some if the decisions since then have been questionable. They’ve made some big changes of late hiring Coughlan and letting Sam Michael so let’s see what happens. The two pay drivers move doesn’t sound encouraging to me however.

            Oh and I’m really pleased you liked my Massa comment, an honour from an obsesse like yourself! I do like him sometimes ;)

        2. He’s not an investment banker. He may have started as an equity analyst, but spent most of his career with the miner Rio Tinto & also qualified and practised as a lawyer.

          1. Thanks for putting me right @mphipps . My bad on this one.

      2. I’m curious to this comment @prisoner-monkeys.

        1. Sorry; my itchy finger hit the button before I could finish the comment. I’m curious about it @prisoner-monkeys . Why do you say that Kimi would have been a better step?

          I’m not disagreeing with you; nor am I saying you’re wrong. I’m just curious as to your reasoning.

          A known car developer; and good team builder – someone like the 1996-spec Michael Schumacher – would probably be a much better fit; though I’m not entirely sure Kimi could have fit that role.

          1. Why do you say that Kimi would have been a better step?

            Because I think he has some ability to drive a car beyond its limits. Perhaps not as much as Alonso or Hamilton, but he would certainly be able to do things in the Williams that Senna and Maldonado cannot.

      3. Ok PM, so Kimi is a better driver than, say, Vettel?

    4. While you’re probably not wrong about Senna being the choice at williams, it would be worth considering that with out all the money they have at their disposal at RBR, Vettel probably wouldn’t just have won two titles in a row and in fact would probably still be struggling to show his talents in a midfield car.

      works all ways.

    5. Was it really “Williams” winning nine constructors and seven drivers titles?
      I think it was Newey who was winning it. Williams have been in decline ever since he left them. There have been a flash in the pan in 2003 – that’s about it.

      1. I think it was Newey who was winning it.

        Even in 1980/1 and 1986/7 when he wasn’t working for them?

  10. Now, for the HRT seat… I suspect it’s between Jérôme d’Ambrosio and Giedo van der Garde.

    1. I’ve heard rumours that Kevin Ceccon, the Auto GP Champion of last year has already signed the contract. He looks a good prospect, but maybe a little bit young…

      1. The great thing about HRT is you never quite know what will happen.

        1. …or if they’ll even be there in Melbourne!

        2. @mike

          The great thing about HRT is they never quite know what will happen.

          There, I fixed it for you.


          I’ve heard rumours that Kevin Ceccon, the Auto GP Champion of last year has already signed the contract.

          I posted something about that the other day. Until about a week ago – which is roughly the same time as these reports started emerging – Kevin Ceccon was (supposedly) going to race for Coloni in GP2. But then Coloni dropped him without a word and drafted in Onidi and Coletti. No explanation was ever given, but I’m having a hard time tracking down the original source that said Ceccon was in because of Wikipedia’s SOPA blackout. We need @Fixy for this – he might be able to tell us if Ceccon was ever contracted to race for Coloni, or if it was simply misreported.

          1. Haha, Funny man.

          2. @Prisoner-Monkeys You can still access Wikipedia if you disable JavaScript, or more simply, press the Escape key before the blackout message appears. :)

  11. Williams+Renault+Senna – yeah, sounds great, but…
    I hope it’ll be a good choice for this great team, they know what they’re doin’
    but it’s strange, two drivers with little experience and no tests during the whole season. 2011 was an awful year for Williams, but can Pastor and Bruno give useful feedback to improve the car next season?

  12. So Williams has preferred money to talent and experience. The team used to employ one pay driver in the past, it looks like they’ll have two now. Let’s wait and see where this decision takes them, maybe cash is now vital for the survival / development of the team. But I just don’t see how Maldonado and Senna make a stronger driver line-up than Sutil and Barrichello.

    1. I just don’t see how Maldonado and Senna make a stronger driver line-up than Sutil and Barrichello.

      That’s simple. They don’t.

      1. They may not be at this stage, but they have both the potential to improve. Sutil is a solid drive and after 5 year you know what you going to get from him. But I doubt if he is in F1, for the next 5 years that he will show one anything different than he did already. Barrichello is going to give you the same as he did this year, a solid drive. Maybe even a bit worst as he is getting older. And speaking bad things of your own team to the media don’t do yourself any favors. Bruno can only improve, and if not that will also be the end of him. If he can’t surpass Sutil performance in this year (I believe he will), that will be the end of him too. Maldonado is a bit hot headed. He can improve his race craft and I believe he will. It is too early in my opinion to say he doesn’t belong in F1. The end of this season will tell. In my opinion only Alguersuari would have been a beter option than Bruno.

      2. It’s a typical pragmatic Williams decision. They’d sooner spend the money on developing the car. Let’s face it, if they produce a good car (something they haven’t done recently) then that’s their best bet shot at moving up the grid. The difference between Bruno and Rubens could more than be made up by having some decent aerodynamics, rather than some mediocre ones.

  13. Money rulzzz!!! Two pay-drivers in legendary Williams team. That’s not what I expected…

  14. For me, this comes as a surprise, as I had expected either Rubens or Adrian to get the seat.

    Good luck to both Williams and Senna, though, in what will be a make-or-break year for Senna, and possibly Williams too.

    @prisoner-monkeys, I don’t share your pessimism as this being the end of Williams. At this time of year, anything is possible, and if the car is good, then Maldonado will deliver, and perhaps Senna can as well. And although it’s true that last year I wasn’t among the greatest believers of Bruno’s potential, I do agree with Frank that in his previous F1 outings, it was hard to assess his potential. This year, he will get a proper shot, and let’s see what he makes of it.

  15. Looks like that’s it for Rubens Barrichello in F1. He had a good career, and I’ll never forget watching him win in Germany in 2000. Alas, all careers must end, and even though he wasn’t the best driver I am going to miss Rubens on the grid come March.

    1. I know that was his first win and arguably a classic but my favourite Rubens win was Silverstone 03 (strange how he attracted lunatics running onto the track). He was just magnificent that day to the extent that he actually made me forget Schumi was racing.

  16. Hooray! Great news for Bruno. Let’s just hope the FW34 isn’t as rubbish as the FW33 was.

  17. Chris Goldsmith
    17th January 2012, 12:48

    To offer an alternative perspective, I think it’s worth considering whether Sutil, Barichello and co would really have been the right choice for Williams. While I do agree that it’s important to have some experience behind the wheel to develop and set up the car, the fact is that Buemi, Alguersuari, Sutil, Barichello, all have had opportunities to demonstrate the kind of spark that might take their careers forwards, and all have failed in that respect.

    I said this about Renault when they took on Heidfeld last year, that i couldn’t understand why they had decided against a driver who was an unknown quantity and might show potential, in favour of one whose career has shown him to be a bit on the steady side. None of the other drivers Williams could have chosen really seem to have championship potential. Senna clearly didn’t inherit his uncle’s incredible flair behind the wheel, but he’s still a rookie and still developing. It would be unfair to dismiss him as someone who definitely won’t show potential in the future, especially when you consider the unique circumstances of his road into Formula 1. He might just surprise people. Barichello, much as I like him, definitely won’t

  18. I see melodrama is still alive and well amongst the F1 fanatics.

    Give Senna a chance I say, he’s barely had a fair crack of the whip in F1. He spent 2010 in a car that could have been beaten by a Stoddard era Minardi and then last year he was thrown in at the deep end at Spa having never driven on the Pirelli’s before.

    I believe Senna could surprise a few people this year as could Williams.

    Also, where do you expect Bruno to turn up as a rookie anyway. Lets face it, Williams are now a back of the grid team which tends to be where the self funded rookies get their F1 breaks. Seems a perfect fit to me.

    I have to admit to feeling a little spooked when I first loaded up my F1 2011 game to find that in career mode you are given a choice of driving for one of the back of the field teams and yes Williams were in that category. Still, there’s no point getting all dewey eyed about Williams’ illustrious past, they aren’t. Instead they’re working hard to put things right and I think spending as much money as possible on car design and development is much more important than chucking £20m at a superstar driver.

    This is a reset button for Williams, give them a chance to show what they can do.

    I am hopeful they will be firmly back in the points this year and after a winter of tyre testing I predict Senna will wipe the floor with Pasta Maldonara.

    1. Tom Haxley (@)
      17th January 2012, 13:24

      Good post!

      I think Williams would be the first to admit they just aren’t good enough anymore.

      You can only play with the cards you are dealt. We can talk all day about the decline of Williams and the whys and wheres, but they are where they are and they are dealing with the best way they can.

      They need money, they are getting it.

    2. But back of the grid certainly isn’t where Williams intend to be. They were a midfield team in 2010 and I think they want to drive at least in the midfield again. And even Lotus and Virgin each have at least one experienced, relatively strong driver.

      Senna didn’t exactly destroy his previous team mates (Petrov and Chandhok) so I doubt whether he will do that with Maldonado.

      1. You make a poor comparison. Lotus picked up Kovalainen when his stock had fallen after dismal seasons at Mclaren and Renault so they’ve been paying him in chip butties the last 2 seasons in exchange for a couple of seasons to sort his game out. Trulli was doing his old mate Gascoyne a favour by joining Lotus but also had no other choice and raced for a very small sum, 450,000 euro I believe. Lets face it, the only one worth having has been Heiki. They might as well have given the other seat to someone with some cash in the hope that Kovy could help them up to speed. Hence the Petrov rumours we are hearing.

        Similar situation with Virgin, they picked up Glock for a bargain price because he had nowhere to go and the other seat was a pay seat both seasons and again this year.

        Also, Lotus and Virgin have probably got more budget that isn’t provided by their drivers than Williams have. Before Senna, PDVSA were Williams’ only sponsor after AT&T quit and they don’t pay enough to bankroll an entire F1 operation. Williams have no choice, they are racing hand to mouth these days much like the Paul Stoddart era Minardi Team whereas Lotus and possibly Virgin are in the ascendancy.

        Gone are the days where Williams can attract blue chip sponsors. Lotus or shall we start calling them Caterham who are now a “works” team have the backing of Air Asia and there will be tie ins with QPR and other areas of the Fernandes empire too.

        Virgin, or Marussia are now also a “works” team supported by the Marussia Supercar Company and the blue chip brand Virgin who “remain an important partner of the team and will retain a significant presence on the car”.

        It’s sad to say but its Williams that are scraping around for leftovers under the sponsorship table which is why they have 2 paying drivers. This year could be the final roll of the dice for the team unless the gamble taken on restructuring pays off; something they desperately need the money from these drivers for.

        Teams that chart a meteoric fall from grace such as Williams often don’t survive.

        Minardi finished 9th in constructors championship in 2002. 3 seasons later they were out of business.
        Jordan finished 9th in constructors championship in 2003. 2 seasons later they were out of business.
        Honda finished 8th in contructors championship in 2007. 1 season later they were sold after another dismal season in which they finished 9th.
        Brabham finished 9th in constructors championship in 1989. Team went out of business by 1992

        Williams are at this stage in their lifecycle and in this fiscal world its money that keeps heads above water. Senna and possibly Maldonado have what it takes to pick up points for Williams if the car is up to it. This will bring vital further funds with which to continue to rebuild. This is an interim measure and once the team has managed to increase its backing by achieving a better WCC position they can then start thinking about bigger sponsors to pay driver wages etc.

        The teams decisions reflect the position they are in. They have bitten the bullet and so must we the fans and just hope they can pull off the mother of all resurrections.

    3. Also, where do you expect Bruno to turn up as a rookie anyway

      If you look at Senna’s career before getting into F1, it’s pretty average to be honest. A lot of people don’t expect much from him not because he is a rookie, but because they don’t think he is really that good and is only in the sport because he is called ‘Senna’.

      That’s why some are saying don’t give him a chance, because drivers like Sutil are probably much better, will bring more points home for Williams and hence in the long term more stability.

      Two pay drivers for a team at the sharp end of the grid not that long ago is something to get a little dramatic about if you are an F1Fanatic!!

      1. A lot of the drivers coming through are pretty average. Senna came 2nd in GP2, even if he didn’t do it particularly smoothly. He beat a lot of drivers who have since come into F1, and although a lot of them were in their 1st full season rather than 2nd, most of them weren’t competing in only their 4th year of motorsport since 1994.

  19. Wow, brave decision from Williams i feel, it shows that they are willing to take risks to get the team further up the grid. I’m happy with this, it spices up the season even more! :D

    on a different note, Rubens rubens rubens, you should have announced your retirement, this isn’t the way you should have gone, you deserved a proper farewell for your services not only for the teams you drove for in the 19 years but your dedication to the sport we love. I salute you.

  20. While it’s highly likely that Senna’s sponsorship connections (note Embratel and others on his shirt in the picture above) has eased his way into the team, it’s good to see a promising young driver getting a place in F1.

    Much as was the case with Maldonado 12 months ago, I think people can be too eager to play up the ‘money’ side overlooking the achievements of the driver in question. Senna showed a good turn of speed in GP2 in 2008, was runner-up to (the massively over-experienced) Giorgio Pantano, and probably would have taken Barrichello’s place at Honda in 2009 had they not pulled out of the sport.

    His handful of starts for Renault this year were hit-and-miss, but it’s easier to iron out mistakes in a quick driver than make a slow but steady driver more competitive.

    You do have to worry about the lack of experience in the team’s line-up, but at Senna’s Renault connections and knowledge could prove useful.

    1. @keithcollantine Senna (28) is actually not that young anymore. In fact, he’s only 9 months younger than Sutil :) Anyway, I wish him all the best. I am just, as Alphaville once sang, hoping for the best but expecting the worst…

      1. Well considering he has only been racing since he was 20…he IS young! ;-)

        1. @GeeMac Yeah I know he took a ‘break’ from racing from 1994 until 2003 due to well-known reasons. Taking that into account, his performances have actually been surprisingly good so far but I also think that this long ‘break’ means he is unlikely to ever rise above the level of, let’s say, Petrov or Maldonado.

    2. Hear, hear.

    3. For me it’s not the ‘money’ side but the ‘Senna’ name that perhaps makes me wonder whether being runner-up once in GP2 is really enough to merit an F1 drive, especially after last season when he didn’t show he was ‘quick driver’ in my opinion, just a bit faster than Petrov in qualifying.

      Maybe I’m being too harsh and in many ways I hope I am wrong because Bruno is such a nice guy.

      Some good inter-team battles shaping up by the way.

  21. bad line up..

  22. A sad day. Williams with two pay drivers and imo the worst driver lineup of all the teams on the grid for 2012. Senna needs to absolutly blow Maldonado away next season and show himself as a leader of this team to move forward in his F1 career.
    Oh how I wish Barrichello could have Maldonardo’s car.

    1. I concur absolutely.

      1. me too! Williams kick Maldonado out of the team and give the seat to Rubens NOW!

  23. I think a lot of people are looking at this negatively simply because Maldonado is the other driver. Bruno Senna driving for Williams? Sure. Senna and Maldonado as a pair? Ouch. Barrichello, Alguersuari or Sutil could have all been team leaders, but now they have two drivers who have referred to by many as pay drivers.

    I hope Senna proves a lot of people wrong, and beats Maldonado – the latter of which has shown sparks in qualifying, occasionally, but really hasn’t delivered in the races, and that’s when he hasn’t crashed out or grabbed a penalty.

    The FW34 surely can’t be worse than the FW33. And with enough money to keep development up through the season, I wouldn’t say it’s all doom or gloom for Williams this year.

  24. If Rubens joins HRT it will be the grandpa team.

  25. I am pretty disappointed. I wanted Rubens in, but Williams have dropped quality and experience for money and now they have two inexperienced drivers. Same mistake as Lotus made when dropping Heidfeld for (oh look!) Senna. I stick to my hypothesis now more than ever: Williams will sooner or later suffer the same fate as Brabham. This year, is their last chance. Bruno and Pastor should really floor the gas pedal now.

  26. I can understand why people are sad to see Williams take on another “pay driver” but lets be honest, they have no choice. The team has been under-performing for the best part of a decade now and they can no longer rely on having the best personnel, the best drivers, or last season’s prize money to stay competitive. It’s more important for the team to take the sponsor money from a lesser driver and invest it into the car and the team to build for the future and actually have some hope of regaining some competitive potential, than to pay for a big name driver at the risk of spiralling into more debt, running out of cash and imploding entirely if they end up having a poor season anyway.

  27. In a way I’m happy for Bruno, it will be interesting to see how he does over a full season in a car and team which has the stability and competitiveness that he has not had over the past two years, obviously his time at HRT hardly needs a comment and then replacing Heidfeld in a under performing and unfamiliar car at the back of last year.
    However It is a risky decision for Williams, especially alongside Maldonado, whom I regard as the most under performing driver of the feild at the moment to say the least. I would have loved to see Rubens and Brunno in the same team, but money talks at the end of the day.

  28. Wow. Things must be pretty bad down in Grove.

    Am I correct in saying that De La Rosa’s drive at HRT is not based on any sponsorship he can bring?

    If so, this really does look bad for Williams.

    However, i’m pleased for Senna. It will be nice to see him have a fresh start at a team that SHOULD be reasonably competitive. I’m not counting his spell at HRT and I think he did have some good moments at Renault.

  29. key techie staff out mid season, new techies in from mid season to Christmas………..its going to take this season to turn the team around assuming such a thing is possible……..two rookies paying loads will do fine if the car is crap as it wont have mattered who drove it, if the car is surprisingly good (it wont be) then they will do fine regardless of drivers ……….money to develop for next year is more important.

  30. Speaking as a mega-fan of Ayrton, I’d have liked Bruno if he was mentioned with his real name and another helmet design. It’s a sad day indeed.

    1. “his real name”?

      1. Bruno Senna Lalli. Senna is his mother’s name, Lalli his father’s. It’s a Portuguese custom to have both your mother and father’s names in your own. So if we used the “British” custom he would be Bruno Lalli, not Bruno Senna.

        1. @azwris @geemac … and Ayrton would have been Ayrton da Silva.

          1. Well he raced in carts and British Formula Ford as Ayrton Da Silva…but he changed it to Senna because he thought it sounded better. Similar to Alonso actually!

  31. Some way I am sad not to see Rubens anymore in F1, as he will be missed for sometime. On the other hand the question I want to ask is that how much of the decision of taking Senna was the cash he was carrying with him? & if so as Williams now have good sponsors from both the drivers how much development can they do now?

  32. From a financial standpoint for a company like Williams it is a good move to get backing from two drivers from countries not affected by the crisys. In the end of the day you need money to develop a car and the grow your company. If you just look at the 92 season Ayrton would have seem not world champion material by some commentators.
    Best of luck for Williams, and Bruno (Senna) Lalli.

  33. We could see a subtle return of yellow on a Williams again, with Embratel? It’d sit better in my stomach than the maroon they had in 2011…I guess that’ll always remind me of how bad the year was!

  34. Okay, I must be the biggest idiot around here BUT WHAT THE HELL IS THIS LOVE-FEST FOR SENNA???? I am 100 percent serious here, could somebody explain this to me!!!… I am not trying to put him down here, I JUST CAN`T wrap my head around it……. i would really like to know!!!!…. i tried to understand it but I failed miserably, so please, somebody, enlighten me!…

    1. I don’t agree that there is a “love-fest”, I see a mixture of responses here.

      When we did a poll a few days ago on who should get the last two places, Senna came third, behind Sutil and Alguersuari and only just in front of Barrichello:

      Who should get the last two places in F1 for 2012?

      1. i don´t mean here as only on this article but on the site, general…..i don´t know i just find it strange somehow…… people keep saying that he has sooo much talent and that he hasn´t had a real chance to prove himself yet…etc.. for all the potential people say he has, he hasn´t shown much (or any) of it……

        1. @lexblair Again I don’t agree and I think the voting on that article bears it out.

          I don’t think these sweeping generalisations you keep making do your case any good. “People keep saying that he has sooo much talent…for all the potential people say he has” – says who? If you disagree with them, tell them why. It’s not as if it’s hard to do on here, just look for the reply button under someone’s comment.

          As it is, you’re just complaining that people don’t agree with you, which seems rather futile.

          1. As it is, you’re just complaining that people don’t agree with you, which seems rather futile.

            okay, with all due respect….but seriously? don´t you find this a little bit ironic, now?? I corrected your assumption about my comment … I WAS NOT disrespectful towards ANYONE…especially you… nor did I bash Senna just for the fun of it…..NOR was I complaining….I made a general observation which is indeed true(that most people here are quite found of Senna)…I am really sorry if you felt like it was directed as a critique towards your site, IT WAS NOT… why would it be?… people are allowed to think what they want… I HAVEN`T stripped anybody off this right …. quite the contrary I´ve tried to understand their opinion(or, better the arguing behind it)….i am sorry responded to your comment,and tried to share my view on the prospect…. *clue… exactly this kind of reaction is why I don´t reply to everybody whom I disagree with*

          2. @lexblair

            I WAS NOT disrespectful

            I never said you were.

            I made a general observation which is indeed true(that most people here are quite found of Senna)

            No it isn’t and the poll I referred to bears that out.

            And here’s another example: We’ve got just over 4,000 active members at the moment and of those 155 (as I write this) support Senna.

            To put that into perspective, Button is over three times more popular.

          3. okay….you are still not talking about the same thing as me… i mean ppl having a genereal positive disposition towards Senna as opposed to being ill-disposed…. this does not have to necessary equal that they are supporting them…. There are numerous other drivers I think positively of but they are not one of my fave drivers, therefore I am not “supporting” them on my profile….but you know what…never mind..

    2. @LexBlair Bruno is a likeable chap and a lot of fans are tired of Barrichellos and Trullis, they want to see new faces in F1. OK, Bruno isn’t totally new but many people believe he hasn’t shown what he’s really made of yet. Maybe the prospect of seeing Senna at Williams is tempting, too – even if it’s not THE Senna and Williams are not a winning team anymore.

      1. …..many people believe he hasn’t shown what he’s really made of yet….

        yeah but didn´t he had plenty of chances to do so….. i mean what do you guys understand under “showing what he´s mad of”?… winning races and regularly being on the podium?…just because he hasn´t had one of the better cars and therefore couldn´t be out front does not mean that his poor (at best mediocre) showings were less significant/realistical….

        1. “he´s mad of” :D LOL ….made of

          1. oh and just to make sure—in my previous comment— I am not trying to bring this site down, for that I find it enjoyable, nor am I belittling the administrators work….

          2. @lexBlair, but you do generalize in saying most people here go all soft over Bruno Senne. From the comments I have seen here so far, there are more people saying how this is really the end for Williams and being a respectable team, or how other drivers would have been a better choice than there are those that say its great or even the ones saying he might supprise the sceptics.

          3. oh gosh, i am sorry but i am not gonna start round 2 with you, i am done for today :D scroll up a bit…. BUT just make it clear when I say here then I mean on this site… NOT just only on this article… oh and thanks for @Girts who actually tried to give me an answer…

  35. I wish Senna every success, I’m glad he got a drive because I would to see him have a good chance at showing us how good he is. As I cannot see Rubinho going to a HRT.

    I would just like to say thankyou Rubens for entertaining us over so many years. Your passion for racing is unrivalled, and you raced in some of the best races i have ever seen; Hockenheim 2000 and Silverstone 2003. You are and always will be a legend.

  36. When I saw how much (allegedly) sponsorship Senna had behind him I did wonder whether it was possible Williams would ditch Maldonado in favour of Senna and keep Rubens, looks like not so much.

    Over 37% of F1 GP ever held have Rubens in them – brings to mind a character’s final line from The Matrix; “Not like this….”

  37. themagicofspeed (@)
    17th January 2012, 14:44

    I agree completely with @Prisoner-Monkeys.

    While Senna was a better bet than a total rookie, it’s still dissapointing to see how low they have swooped by signing a pay driver. The fact he is the nephew of Ayrton is irrelevant; Bruno paid $14m for his race seat. Pastor Maldonado is also a pay driver (Williams receives millions of $s from Venezualen state owned PDVSA to run Maldonado as a driver). With Sutil seemingly out of the picture, no thanks to the slimy Eric Lux, The long and short of it is, Williams are a team in terminal decline, running two drivers who are paying for their seat, with no title sponsor. I agree with @Prisoner-Monkeys , this could well be the beggining of the end. They have been in terminal decline, really since 2006, and are well on their way to becoming the next, Tyrrell, Lotus, Brabbham, BRM…etc – fallen greats who met a skint and anonymous end.

    It’s particularly sad to see Rubens’ career come to an end as a result of Williams going further down the toilet. He could have provided solid feedback, good consistent results, and he can be trusted not to make stupid errors. It would make perfect sense to keep him on board as a senior test/development driver, as he still wants to be involved and could help the team. He without doubt, despite his age (which i refuse to beleive is a problem), is at 40 years of age, still better than the vast majority of the rookies.

    One thing i do think though, is I bet Rubens would rather lose out to Bruno, and give him a chance, than anybody else. He was and still is close to the Senna family so i don’t think he will be too bitter.

    Williams just threw away at least some of their hard earned credibility, by hiring not one, but TWO pay drivers. Next they will say their reserve driver is ‘a rising talent from Super-1 Karts’ or something.

    1. @themagicofspeed

      Bruno paid $14m for his race seat

      Where’s that figure from?

      1. In here

        It was posted by Joe Saward in here

        “I suppose we will have to see if Bruno can do the job,” he said, changing the subject, to save Penelope’s blushes. “There are lots of people who think he’s got what it takes. I’m not so sure. I must admit I find it rather hard to see the name Senna in a Williams again. Bad memories, I suppose. No, it’s not that. It is more to do with the driver choice. I mean, Senna’s is a good lad, but Williams needs a proper proven number one driver. A charger with no question marks. The team really does not need someone who is supposed to be bringing $15 million in sponsorship.

        1. themagicofspeed (@)
          17th January 2012, 15:17

          @celeste – my mistake. I knew i read it somewhere, i stand corrected. Someone else on F1F quoted $14m just cant remember which comments thread it was.

        2. Do we not have a less tenuous source than someone pretending to be someone else posting a rumour?

          1. @keith-Collantine Now you are being picky… you only asked where we find the info ;)

            But your wishes are orders my dear Sir, here:

            Now the team has unveiled Bruno Senna as Maldonado’s team-mate for 2012. Eighteen grand prix starts for HRT and Renault with one top-ten finish probably gives a fair reflection of his abilities. But crucially he brings a substantial amount of sponsor money with him – estimates claim as much as $20 million – and that was enough to see off more talented candidates.

          2. @keithcollantine @celeste Joe Saward is a respectable source that I usually trust. That said, I find some of his habits (including “the mole”) annoying, which is why a certain K.C. defeated Joe and got my personal F1 journo of the year award in 2011 ;)

          3. @Girts, I would say that Saward keeping himself respectable is the reason that this is presented under the comical guise of “the Mole” talking rumours (making it far less reliable by default – its just a joke, right).

          4. @BasCB A good point but does “the Mole” really keep Saward respectable? He’s a highly-rated journalist who sometimes publishes rumours and information from behind-the-scenes but mostly he gets it right and the rumours very often turn out to be true. In my opinion, turning these stories into jokes just devaluates the value of his blog.

    2. @themagicofspeed What’s “slimy” about Eric Lux? If someone glassed me – accidental or not – and then cleared off without even apologising, I don’t think I’d feel too warmly towards them either.

      1. themagicofspeed (@)
        17th January 2012, 15:11

        It seems very underhand to time something to destroy a driver’s career – yes he glassed him, but Lux had months to take action, yet he seemingly timed it deliberately to destroy Sutil’s career. It’s rather unsporting in my opinion, and i refuse to beleive it’s just a coincidence.

        Live and let live perhaps? He didnt need to wait until now to take action.

        1. If I remember the case was presented in China, Germany and Switzerland. Maybe the court was investigating, is what you normaly do, you investigate is there is enough evidence to go to court and then there is a trial.

          I don´t think this could have been timed just to screw up Sutil…

          1. themagicofspeed (@)
            17th January 2012, 15:31

            I see your point. Even if they were investigating, the timing seems impeccable. Lux isn’t mortally injured, or dead, so wouldnt it be better all round for Sutil to apologise, and settle the case out of court? Sometimes i think it’s important to just let things go. If they had settled out of court, there would be far less expense and reputation damage for both parties.

          2. @themagicofspeed I agree that sometimes is right to let things go.

            But we weren´t there and a 24 stiches injure is not a little thing. It sounds dangeroues, specially around the neck.

            Maybe Lux is out for revenge, at we all know this is a dish that you enjoy more cold, but Sutil shouldn´t have put himself in te position where his career and future is at danger…

            Sadly I don´t see any team of sponsor wanting to be envolve in this or with him…

          3. I’m sorry, but if somebody assaulted me with a bottle I think I would be perfectly justified in pressing charges.

  38. Oh well, I don´t think Bruno Senna is good, he is overrated…I would have wanted to see Rubens one last year as an F1 Driver.

    1. themagicofspeed (@)
      17th January 2012, 15:08

      Bruno has potential, but my gut instinct is he isn’t a World Champion in the making. So i suppose you could say he’s slightly overrated. He tends to be made a bigger deal of because of his surname, which comes with an unimaginable amount of added pressure. I wouldn’t like to be in his shoes.

      He doesn’t give you the impression that big things are ahead for him. As an example, when Vettel first came into F1 even in his capacity as BMW test driver, it was clear he had a lot of potential – hence he was promoted. Bruno doesnt give that feeling.

  39. themagicofspeed (@)
    17th January 2012, 15:03


    I read further up the comments somewhere, that he was reported to have paid $14m to Williams for 2012. Not sure how accurate that figure is, but either way it seems he has paid for the privellege of racing in 2012.

    If i find the comment again i’ll link to it.

  40. This is classic case of head over heart. The head goes for the young hungry driver, the future for F1 while the heart would love to have given Rubens the farewell he deserved. I have to say all season I was all for Bruno and felt Rubens leaving was an inevitability. But after seeing him on the flying lap with Peter Windsor last week, i don’t think anyone would question his ability to give what Bruno would over a single lap even at his age, and his hunger for 2012 was overflowing. That coupled with his technical ability and experience, i think it will be a backward step for Williams to let him go, especially now, i’m sad to say

    1. themagicofspeed (@)
      17th January 2012, 15:22

      @nivek252 To be honest, i would disagree. Personally, my head would also go with Rubens, because of the superior technical feedback he can provide to a team undoubtedly lacking in solid technical direction. Nobody is more experienced than Rubens at that sort of thing, if I remember rightly, even Schumacher used to copy aspects of Ruben’s set up from time to time while they were team mates at Ferrari.

  41. Jeez, you would think He was caught kicking puppies up and down the pit lane, give the guy a break. Lets see how He goes with a secure seat not reserve and time to help put input into the car. As for He doesn`t deserve a seat I think that goes to He`s fellow countryman who currently is a tail gunner charlie at Ferrari.

  42. I really hope this proves the Senna doubters wrong, in his two seasons he had pretty poor cars, although he was outperformed by Petrov, if he was given a complete season with the car he may have nearly reached his standard. I hope by the end of the season I can say I was correct to be glad Senna deserved the seat and not others like Sutil. I think it is a good move by both parties.
    Firstly Senna, I feel it was a good move to go to Williams as they are not at the top of their game so he would be driving a car which is at the same level as his racing ability. This would be good so then he can hopefully maintain a consistent level of performance which would show his true potential and if he deserves a drive for next season or not.
    Secondly Williams, as I previously mentioned, Williams are not at the top of their game. As they have to pay drivers which is a shame, this could be the key for them getting some cash in some they can then hopefully gradually bring them up to a previous standard over the next few years, (proabably quite a few). What else is good for Williams is that Senna may bring a good amount of sponsership money with him which would be good for their bank balance.
    To conclude, if Senna does have another bad season I can say he does not deserve a drive for next year but if he does have a good one (which I hope) this could be the making of him.

  43. Wow, if only Giedo van der Garde now ends up at preferably Caterham, or even HRT, than all line ups have come about just as I hoped!!
    Yes, I’m à Kimi and Bruno fan. And for tha rest I think everything Has been said above… Let’s wait for tha season to unfold. I’m happy!!!

  44. Such a shame ! A team with tradition with two second-hand pay drivers.

    1. Tradition is merely the illusion of permanence and the muse of the overly romantic.

      The situation Williams faces is very real which is why they have made some difficult decisions to get their team back on track.

      Right now money is what they need not. They’d never attract a top line drivers these days so its nonesense saying things like they should be paying for a top driver. Which top driver would sign? Williams can’t afford to pay one anyway.

      In Bruno and Pastor they may have average drivers but they can score points if the car is capable. Anyway, not so long ago Jenson Button had a reputation as an average driver and look at him now.

      Give them a chance.

  45. I don’t think you can just look at finishing results when rating Bruno as there were a few races where he got a much lower place than his actual performance during the race would have got him.

    At Spa a lot was made of his qualifying position & turn 1 accident, However after he pitted for a new nose his race pace was actually fairly strong when compared to Petrov.

    When he scored points at Monza its often overlooked that he was last at the end of lap 1 having driven through the gravel avoiding the turn 1 crash & had to pit for a new nose as a precaution due to going through the gravel.

    He was faster than Petrov all weekend at Singapore a track which is one of the most physically demanding circuits on the calender.

    He matched Petrov’s pace all weekend at Suzuka & outqualified Petrov despite having done no qualifying simulation during practice due to his crash.

    From memory he was ahead of Petrov in India when his KERS failed & Got screwed by the team’s strategy at Abu-Dhabi when they pitted him at the end of lap 1 expecting a safety car, Then as he was coming back through the field he had another KERS failure.

    He was also well ahead of Petrov at Brazil untill the incident with Schumacher which I still see as a racing incident undeserving of a penalty, Especially since the penalty was for the initial collision & not for the one which gave Schumi the puncture. Bruno’s pace was then very strong & he had made progress through the field before getting the 2nd penalty for ignoring blue flags.

    Also its worth remembering that he was only 3 tenths of Button’s pace when he had the test with Honda at the end of 2008 & Ross Brawn spoke very highly of Bruno & did say that had Honda not pulled out & had they had more preperation before the start of the 2009 season he would have gone with Bruno rather than retained Barrichello.

    From the Barcelona Test on 20/11/2008:
    5 Jenson Button Honda 1m21.387 94
    8 Bruno Senna Honda 1m21.676 107

    From an earlier test at Barcelona in similar conditions:
    7 Rubens Barrichello, Honda, 1:21.950 sec 122

    Remember Button had a ton more experience in the Honda RA108 & that car round that track while it was Bruno’s 1st ever run in an F1 car.

    but Karun Chandhok was able to finish in fourteenth place in two races, securing 11th place in the WCC.

    True, Its also true that Bruno was ahead of Karun in both of those races untill his car failed.

    Its also true that Bruno was the only HRT driver in 2010 to qualify ahead of one of the other 2 new teams, Twice.

    1. I completely agree with this post. All the Senna bashers on here, and we dont need to name all the usual suspects, will realise that they have underestimated him come the end of the season now that he has a proper shot.

  46. Senna’s appointment at Williams comes as no surprise.

    Whilst he is talented, I think the team should have recruited someone with more than 26 gp starts.

    Personally I think Petrov would have been a better alternative

  47. So Williams will employ a GP2 Champion (Maldonardo), a GP2 Championship Runner Up (Senna) and a GP3 Champion next season (Valtteri Bottas).

    Hardly a poor Line-Up!

    1. Excellent point.

      For all the hate thrown at Bruno & Pastor its always ignored that Pastor won the GP2 championship, Finished 3rd in points in the World Series by Renault 3.5 series.

      If Pastor was so poor then why did he do this well in lower categories?
      Same with Bruno he won many races & contended for championships, hardly the performance a poor driver would displey.

      1. Maldonado also thrashed Hulkenberg when it came to getting the better of Rubens. I don’t understand why he’s so criticised. (As a driver, anyway – his attitude leaves something to be desired.)

        1. @jonchuckle

          Maldonado also thrashed Hulkenberg when it came to getting the better of Rubens.

          That’s a slightly obscure (and unquantified) reference given that you only have to go back to 2009 to find them both driving the same car for the same team (ART in GP2).

          Result: Hulkenberg beat Maldonado 100 points to 36 and five wins to two. And it was Hulkenberg’s first season in GP2, Maldonado’s third. That’s a lot more like a thrashing.

          I’m not saying Maldonado is a rock ape and Hulkenberg is Jim Clark reincarnate, but if it was my team Hulkenberg would get the nod every time.

          1. @keithcollantine I agree – I didn’t know that as I don’t really follow GP2. However, the point I was making is that Maldonado did far better in F1 compared to the same team-mate.

  48. I wonder if Rubens will take a testing role for this year, or he just packs it up. It’s hard to imagine him racing anywhere else, F1 was everything to him.

  49. Dissapointed. Senna hasn’t proven much in the Renault last year(wasn’t good when he got it, but still didn’t impress in terms of beating Petrov), yet he gets a drive while Sutil, Alguersuari and to an extent Petrov are left seatless.

    1. Lesson for Sutil would be Don’t stab people in the neck.

      Alguersari was too slow in qualifying and only started to pick up his race pace when he knew his drive was under threat. Not good enough.

      Petrov, disappointed in him tbh. I thought he showed flashes of speed last year and would be able to iron his weaknesses out but it hasn’t materialised.

  50. I wouldnt like to be in barrichello shoes. betrayed by a fellow countryman, I guess F1 is running short of true good guys, this new generation of eevn more spoiled kids is going to give us more excitment for sure.

    1. Betrayed? What nonesense!!

      Rubens knows as well as anyone that its every man for himself in F1. There are only 24 cars on the grid and you have to do whatever it takes to get your bum in one. Its nothing personal, its just the nature of the beast so I doubt Rubens it home saying to his wife “Not fair, Bruno got more money than me”


    I am dumbfounded to understand the logic of this decision. It must be all about money, which they must be desperate for and the attention from the name Senna.

    First off Bruno has only had a few individual moments where he somewhat played the role of a Grand Prix driver and with little success. The best thing he has done in racing is to take advantage of his uncles name, other than that HE HAS DONE NOTHING.

    Shame on you Frank Williams for ever getting into this situation with your team. Bad F1 teams eventually dissappear and this dance with history and the hope of better times so far has been a disaster. Look at what your team has become. Now you are taking advantage of a dead Grand Prix Drivers name by hiring this unproven talent. Thinking that a name alone will return glory to your organization is pretty low in my standards.

    You would have better to keep Rubens and rebuild the team based on his experience. Set the stage for a better tommorrow and then maybe pick a promising young driver.

    Instead you went for a name and money and that price is high because many of us have lost respect for your team. See you in the bottom three.

  52. Breaking News: Bruno Senna hired a new team to drive for next season. The Brazilian Bruno Senna Lalli becomes the 7th driver to hire a team for the next season joining Kimi Raikkonen, Pastor Maldonado, Romain Grosjean, Charles Pic, Daniel Ricciardo, Jean-Eric Vergne and Pedro De La Rosa. Hiring Teams is common fashion on junior categories as such GP2 F3 championship but recently became a trend on F1 as F1 teams struggle for resources. In spite of the circunstances Williams believes that Senna and the new acquired Renault engines could revive Williams to where they were in 1994.

  53. A fair few people here have spoken of how they should have stuck with Rubens because they need his experience.

    Well Rubens has been there for 2 years & his experience hasn’t exactly helped them a great deal & I don’t think a 3rd would have been any different.

    I think Bruno is a good choice, He’s not the terrible driver his critics label him as, If he was he woudn’t have won races in the lower categories.

    Im expecting his critics to be eating there words come the end of the season, Although im sure they will find other reasons to throw hate at him.

  54. Let’s wait and see guys … it’s his last chance to show if he’s got something or not … I think that he’s quick on Qualifying but MUST improve in RACE conditions a LOT !! .. Do not forget that he finished 2008 GP2 Season better than Kobayashi, Buemi, Petrov, Grosjean, Maldonado, D’Ambrosio, Chandhok …

    Who of you ever think of Kobayashi getting into F1 when he was at GP2? .. He only entered because of connections with TOYOTA .. and then showed his real talent …

  55. I’m reserving judgement on this one, I have to admit. I like Senna, but I don’t think I’ve really seen enough of him as a racer to fully form an opinion on his ability.

    That said, I think it’s a bit much to suddenly be declaring the death of the Williams team just because they’ve signed him. Slight overreaction, maybe? Just a bit?

  56. Its amazing how such an average driver is still in F1, when good drivers are not.

  57. There is no surprise that Bruno is bringing money, in F1 money always plays a special role. There are just a few drivers that don’t bring sponsors or some amount of money to their teams. Even former champion Kimi Raikonenn, had to bring sponsors in his return otherwise his salary couldn’t be paid. In the past Alonso started a season at Minardi because of his sponsor (Telefonica), then he showed his talent and became a top-notch driver.

  58. So, the other shoe has finally dropped. I feel slightly bad for Rubens, but he’s had a heck of a run, and I hope he doesn’t resurface at HRT. That would be a sad way for him to wind up a great career in F1.

  59. It’s a shame to see Rubens go. :S

  60. I think this is a mistake for Williams. They have hired new technical people in the last year and they have a new engine supplier; this is going to be a development year for them as a result of that. If they are going to lift themselves off the bottom of the constructors standings they are going to need good technical feedback. I don’t see them getting the needed feedback with two relatively inexperienced drivers.

  61. I was so excited for Bruno when I heard he got the Williams seat.

    After a difficult time at HRT and a difficult car at Renault, he’ll have a more grounded FULL season with a car that should benefit with the rule changes.

    Then I jump on here and everyone’s talking him down :(

    I think this year will be a great opportunity for him to show what he can do throughout a proper season and I hope he proves the majority of the readers here wrong!

  62. This is Bruno’s time to shine. His first full season with an established F1 team (tough to call HRT established). But to be honest, there are better yardsticks to measure yourself against than Pastor. Pastor is a competent driver (but who isn’t in F1?), but colliding with Lewis at Spa and scoring only 1 point doesn’t help his stock in the driver market. So if Bruno wants to be a F1 driver for a bit more than this year, he’s going to have to really beat Maldonado, and I think he can. Bruno’s not bad for a guy who pretty much skipped karting altogether, considering some of his competitors came out of the womb with a steering wheel in their hands it seems.

  63. on the face of it , this appointment is very disappointing, although I hope i,m proved wrong

  64. No doubt there will be a clause in the contract that allows Williams to dump Senna if he is way off the pace. However something tells me we are in for a nice surprise with The Senna/Williams/Renault package.

    1. I think the next two years will be rebuilding years at Williams. New structure, not much money, atrocious car, inexperienced drivers.

      I doubt we will see many good results before 2014. But as long as they can survive, we should eventually see them consistently in Q1 again in years to come. They have the pedigree to return to the top. But it will take 2, 3, 4 or even 5 years to get there.

  65. Happy New Year to the F1 Fanatic team, to Keith and everyone.

    This for me is great news. I’m a Senna fan, and think there’s something in him that just needs time and nurturing. Williams is probably not the most driver development friendly team, in my opinion, but its a team with lots to prove. The return to Renault engines is a good sign and from the press release seems like even Senna is being kept with his feet on the ground, with the “big evaluation” and “methodical” statements. As for Rubens, I think he will surely find a place in a team on the development side of the sport, maybe as a third driver. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he joins the press side of things, like many others. That wouldn’t be bad either. I think Rubens will stay in F1, probably doing other things, but we will definitely be seeing him around!

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