Senna: “I just want to get the maximum possible out of the car”

2012 F1 season

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Bruno Senna, Williams, 2012

Bruno Senna says he wants to get the “maximum possible” out of the Williams-Renault FW34 after gaining a place at the team this year.

The team released the following Q&A with their new driver:

Q: Now you’ve been confirmed as a Williams driver, what are your thoughts heading into 2012?
BS: I’m really happy to be a part of a team with such a fantastic heritage. I am very proud that Williams has chosen me to race in what will be an important year for them. Everyone is extremely motivated for 2012 and it is great to be part of that motivation. It is true that they didn’t have the best season last year, but it is clear that the team is on a new path and everyone is pulling together to ensure that this year is a better one. I really hope that I can demonstrate what I can do, not only for the team, but for myself. It’s going to be interesting to see what we can achieve together.

Q: What are your objectives for the 2012 season?
BS: It’s difficult to set objectives before the season starts, but I intend to push the car 100% to the limit to get the maximum performance we can from it.

Q: What are your thoughts on the Renault engine having raced with it last season and what do you think Renault can bring to Williams in 2012?
BS: After a few races with the Renault engine in 2011, I’ve learnt a great deal about it. It is a very good unit with good drivability, which is another positive step forward for the team. As a driver, you need to have every weapon available to you operating at its optimum in order to put in competitive times throughout the race. I’m sure we can develop the car even further with the Renault engine and it will be interesting for me to be able to give the team feedback applying my previous experiences.

Q: What do you make of your new team mate, Pastor Maldonado?
BS: Pastor is a great driver. I’ve raced against him in GP2 and we always get along well. He’s been a very tough opponent in the past and he is going to be even tougher now we are both in the same car. We’ll certainly be trying to beat each other, but as teammates we’re going to work together to move the team forward.

Q: Can you talk us through what you have been working on at the factory so far?
BS: I’ve been at the Williams factory in Grove both before and after Christmas being really put through my paces in the simulator, on the track and in the gym. We’ve also done some evaluation work on the track (but not in an F1 car). The main purpose was for the team to evaluate me and to understand how to get the best out of me as a driver. But it’s also been really useful for me as it familiarises me with all the procedural things, such as learning the layout of the steering wheel before I get into the real car. When we start testing I won’t need to think about that so I’ll just be able to get on and drive the FW34.

Q: So you have had an opportunity to work with your new engineers?
BS: I think we’ve started off really well and now I’m looking forward to working with them more over the season. The relationship between a driver and engineer is something that few people can understand. You need mutual respect, to understand each other well and know how to work together in order to really gel from the start. That relationship and continuity can make such a difference to your overall performance.

Bruno Senna, Williams, 2012

Q: What started your career in motorsport?
BS: I was a motorsport fan from a young age and of course there has been a great influence from my uncle, but ever since I first put my feet into a go-kart I never wanted to do anything else. I’m very privileged to be able to do what I love, as to race in Formula One has always been my dream.

Q: You were once quoted as saying that, given the chance to drive any legendary Formula One car from the past, you would choose the 1993 active-suspension Williams. How important is it to you to now be a part of a team with such a motorsport heritage?
BS: The team has an amazing history and walking around the museum just makes me drool! I’ve seen many of these cars on track and always wondered how it would feel to actually race them. I’ve never been in one, so I think it would be good to get a run in the active ride car at Goodwood, just to get a feel!

Q: You have considerable support from Brazil, can you tell us about that?
BS: I feel very proud to be Brazilian right now. Knowing I have such great support behind me, people who have been there since the start, gives me such a great feeling. Knowing people have chosen me to bear their name gives me even more motivation to create good memories for them.

Q: Your uncle, Ayrton, raced for Williams. How significant is it for you to be joining the team?
BS: It will be very interesting to drive for a team that my uncle drove for. Quite a few of the people still here actually worked with Ayrton and I’m happy that they are now giving me the chance to prove myself here. Hopefully we can bring back some good memories and create some great new ones too.

Q: Fast forward to this time next year, what achievements would you be happy with?
BS: I hope that by the end of 2012 we can say we extracted 100% of the performance from the Williams-Renault FW34, whatever that may be. That is the most important thing. I just want to get the maximum possible out of the car and make the most of this opportunity. It is such an important year for both the team and myself as it will help shape my future. I hope that future will be long and successful, and it all starts here.

Images © 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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51 comments on “Senna: “I just want to get the maximum possible out of the car””

  1. What else can I say but this?

    1. You can say nothing. Tough trick, but some of us manage it from time to time when we don’t like something.

    2. problem PM?
      Wait until December, then you might have a reason to hate on Senna, after a full season in a REAL F1 car.

      1. But he had half a season in a reasonable car, and only once compared particularly well against, (sorry PM) a fairly lowly team mate.

        Alguersuari came into the sport with less experience by far, at a much younger age. And did better by comparison against Buemi.

        1. Bruno brings huge amount to Williams href=””>

          $20M made him a quick bruno

    3. Bruno showed some pure talent before F1 and after, If you think he stoped racing for 10 years! Last year he raced the last 8 races but dont Forget he jumped To the car without knowing the tyres and almost without any milleage With the lotus car! Who would done better? This year If Williams can not deliver a good car for a start, you can even hire Vettel because without a good package Vettel would win zero races! Thats the true! Barrichello has lots of experience! But what did he do With the Williams car last year? Where was the development capability of him? The team engeniers need To deliver also! With the Renault engine and new technical staff i believe we CAN wait for a better season! Bruno Will deliver! Wanna bet? Or you think Sir Franck lost his skills on avaluating a driver? Its not only the money speaking my friends! You Will see!!!

  2. To get the maximum out of the car Bruno, I’d suggest letting someone else take to the drivers seat!

      1. plus one. lol

        1. +1. hahaha. funny but true…

    1. Point.

      Its sad to see a team like Williams goto the lows of hiring 2 paying drivers. I wish Bruno the very best but I think everyone knows he’s not an Aryton, Lewis, Fernando, Sebastien..
      He’s just alright.

      Its also a sad sign of current F1 where money is worth more than talent :(

  3. So much for Bruno’s promise to his family that he would never race for Williams if he made it to Formula 1.

    1. I bet his mother is really impressed…

      1. When he was released from Renault, HRT and Williams were the only two teams with (viable) seats left (Toro Rosso were always going to take their own, and Force India had Hulkenberg under contract since Korea). He had a falling-out with HRT’s management last year, so Williams was the only team left to him. Which means this feels like he’s goine straight to them, as if that promise meant nothing.

        1. Maybe he spoke with his family first and they understood?

        2. If you had got so far in the world of F1 like bruno has,what would you do in his place? I think this was a matter for proving himself and not thinking about the name which was connected to Ayrton’s death.

          1. @thejudge Pretty much. He can’t have it both ways. If you don’t want constant comparison that has to work for both the good and the bad aspects.

      2. I though his mother was acting as manager…

    2. I should think that as many have, they have moved on. It was a tragedy but you can’t keep looking back.

    3. Sorry to ask, but where’s the evidence of him stating this? I mean good evidence btw….

  4. Am I the only one seeing almost all of this page in bold? It makes it quite tiring to read.

    1. No, I am too.

  5. Perhaps some drivers deserve the seat more, but I’m glad Bruno’s finally got a proper shot at F1 – a full season in a car that won’t be a complete backmarker. The surname has definitely helped him, but we have to remember the fact he lost out to other a lot when he wasn’t allowed to race for a long time. I believe this year we’ll get an actual idea of how good he is.

    1. a full season in a car that won’t be a complete backmarker

      You were watching last year … right?

      1. Lets just hope that it was a one off season for Williams.

      2. You really think they’ll be completely at the back of the field and won’t be even close to scoring points?

        1. I think that with the established pecking order of Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes, there is only going to be two or three points-scoring places up for grabs on a regular basis – and that Force India, Sauber, Toro Rosso and Lotus will all be wrestling over them before Williams joins the party. Even if they have a car that is capable of scoring points, they’re in for a long, hard fight – and I don’t think Maldonado or Senna have the stamina to see it through.

      3. Were you? He only did half a season

        1. Half season with a 50% performance too.

    2. Seconded. I don’t believe the difficult evaluation process was fictional either. I reckon Williams genuinely thought he was the best driver available, or at least the best driver who could afford the seat.

      1. Yep, the only bad thing about it is the lack of experience, which might hurt them with car development. Maybe they’ll keep Barrichello around as a third driver?

        1. Maybe. Using him in testing could be useful. But if it’s accurate that Senna is very good at feedback then that might be good enough.

  6. Everyone knew this was to happen. But I’m glad that he secured the seat,ofcours sorry for rubens,but F1 is F1.
    I can’t wait for the testing to begin and see what he can do in the car. Hope this chance is good and helps him prove everyone that he has more that just an impressive surname.

  7. You need to do more than get the max out of the car Bruno. You need to outperform it and be consistent and develop the car and be available 25/8 for the worlds sponsors and media. Nice lad, glad hes got a drive but for sure his sponsorship spoke louder than the talent hes shown so far.

    1. Exactly. 2012 aim, Destroy Maldonardo and put your talent and leadership on show in front of your sponsorship.

  8. I am happy for Bruno Senna yet sad to see Rubens Barrichello go. I always had Rubens in high regard, he was always passionate about racing and you could see it when he won grands prix just how much it meant to him. The scenes of a tearfull Barrichello on the podium at Hockenheim in 2000 are burned in my memory forever, as is his 2003 Silverstone victory.
    How much of a role Barrichello played in Williams decision to hire Bruno Senna is debatable? Both are Brazilians, and Rubens has been a friend of the Senna family for years now. So, in hindsight, who better to take your place than somebody you know and like. Either way, we have lost a great personality and talent in Barrichello.
    As for Williams, they have lost almost two decades worth of experience with the departure of Barrichello. Both Senna and Maldonado are relative F1 newcomers, and both have shown indifferent form. However, both come with huge financial backing that a team in Williams current position cannot ignore.
    This is not the team that attracted the late Aryton Senna to its fold all those years ago. This is not the team even that Ralf Schumacher and Juan Montoya drove for back in 2004. This is a team that has faded badly, and has not only failed to compete for championships in recent years but has failed to even compete for grands prix wins.
    When you look at last years results for Williams the statistics make for grim reading. You would have to be the worlds greatest optomist to believe that this team stands a chance in 2012, yet there are some glimmers of hope.
    Williams will have the Renault engine back in 2012, a real throwback to their glory years of winning titles.
    In essence, this is a team that many have low expectations of in 2012. No one really expects Maldonado and Senna to be that competitive. We’ll see!

    1. 2009 wasn’t so bad for Williams. It’s not all bad.

      I agree about Rubens though, I sincerely hopes he stays in F1 in some capacity, unfortunately though, as he isn’t a really a native English speaker, I suspect even if he did we wouldn’t see him.

  9. So far every team that has had Bruno in their car has not kept him for 2nd year. I’d imagine it will be the same with williams as well. Williams really needs the money though.

    I would not be surprised to see petrov as their 3rd driver. Drivers paying for their seats is the main source of income for the williams team…

    1. I disagree,with his uncle`s connection-i would think williams would want to grow there new technical team around somebody-and what better person, than to do it with bruno “da silva” – as long as he doesnt mess up bad which i dont doubt he will.

      1. doubt he will,sorry!

  10. One of the currently most boring teams, with one of the grid’s weakest driver. I see little positive for Williams to come 2012, besides maybe an interesting battle with Caterham.

    1. Ouch. You may be right, but I bet Williams are aiming for regular points finishes this year, and they’ll want both cars in Q3 most weekends.

      On a wider note, what does the retirement of Patrick head augur? Had he become a drag on the team? Or will his loss spell even worse times for them?

    2. Disagree. Williams are still on the cutting edge of engineering technology, their 2011 F1 car was one of the most interesting on the grid with its new low profile gearbox, yes it had teething problems but these will be fixed. Then there is the flywheel KERS system that they have pioneered for posible use in the future. I think this is one problem Williams has had in recent F1 is the restrictions on engineering technology development, the mechanical parts of the car. The Williams’ team speciality cannot be utilised. Now everything is aerodynamics and its no suprise the team with the exepted best aerodynamicist has the fastest car. Say if wings were suddenly banned and instead modern suspension technolgy allowed, I bet Williams would be up at the front of the grid again.

  11. Desperate times for Williams taking pay drivers. Maybe Sir Frank still has a guilty conscience.

    1. It’s not true, simply they pick Senna and Maldonado becouse their are good drivers and have sponsorship, Rubens had a really bad year and i don’t see him much better than Maldonado.
      Senna had some shines this year, he deserve a seat. Maybe, Sutil too… but you dont just pick the best driver, there are connections and relationships.
      I don’t really see how badly people put down Bruno’s talent. Maybe will not become a Alonso or Vettel, but he is good, already prove it.

  12. Well done to Bruno Senna,its a pity his in a team that will not produce much this year.Hopefully Bruno might produce some good results with Renault engine and develop with the team for years to come.
    Senna Forever

  13. Bruno may not be the best candidate on paper, but Williams, he would be perfect.

    He is an alright driver, dont reckon he will win even if he was in a decent car, and he brings in the cash. He is a midfield driver at best, and for Williams at this juncture, probably not so bad.

  14. Congrats Bruno! It’s good to see him get the chance of a full season, including testing. All recent benefactors of money in F1 have had that opportunity, but some, like Senna and Ricciardo, have yet to sample Albert Park after a full pre-season – if even sampling it at all!

    Maybe less of the “pay driver” ranting, and more watching of F1 – with young drivers attached. Cut and Thrust….

  15. Text book Q&A but a good read nonetheless. As long as his 100% effort iis near-enough 100% correctly, well-judged driving there won’t be a lot more you can ask of Senna.

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