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New chapter in Senna story

2012-02-09 08:15

SENNA NAME RETURNS: Bruno Senna hopes to make a name for himself in F1 as he races for Williams in 2012.

Jerez, Spain - Bruno Senna's grandparents have never attended any of his races and, as he prepares for a new start in Formula 1 with Williams, he does not expect them to do so now.

Senna says his family is completely supportive as he treads in the footsteps of his late uncle Ayrton but the 28-year-old also recognises that the pain of the past will always be there.

Ayrton, perhaps the greatest of all Grand Prix drivers and certainly one of the most charismatic, died in a Williams at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix in a crash that threw both nation and sport into mourning.

He had won his three titles with McLaren and that tragic weekend was only his third race for the 1993 champions.

Sennda said: "I hope it is going to be a great, nice chapter. The beginning of history to be honest.

"Many people ask me about how my family felt about my coming to Williams and everything. Everybody is super happy. my grandfather (Ayrton's father), everybody because everybody has been working so hard for this to happen," he said.

"They know that the team is a strong team with a good pedigree... hopefully we will back on top form together," said Senna.

Williams offers a chance for Bruno to show he deserves to be in Formula One on merit and not just for the name and sponsorship he brings.


Although he entered Formula 1 in 2010 with struggling HRT and then started eight races for Renault in 2011, will be the first time he has taken part in a pre-season test since he was a GP2 driver in 2008.

Senna once told reporters that 'If you think I'm fast, just wait until you see my nephew Bruno' but the world is still waiting for the evidence.

Bruno said: "It's no pressure. Of course, Ayrton regarded me very highly in go-karts but being quick is not everything that a real race driver needs.

"A race driver needs to be quick, to be intelligent, to have good relationships and be in the right place at the right time. There are a lot of factors that would create a successful race driver," he said.

"We are trying to put them all together and I think this is the start of the right conditions for me," added Senna.

As a youngster, Ayrton's death stalled Bruno's career and it took him 10 years to get back on track. In many respects, he is still catching up.

Senna said: "I've been around (in F1) for two years but not really racing for two years. I've been racing for eight races and everything else was just kind of participating.

"The times when I had the same opportunity as the other guys (to test), and 2008 is a great example of that, I was there. Competitive every race weekend, I had one or two bad race weekends but everybody does, and fought for the championship," he said.

"That's my aim again. To have the same chances as the other guys and then sit in the car and be competitive, beat the other guys that I am competing against," said Senna.


Senna and Pastor Maldonado make up the least experienced Williams lineup in years, with the Venezuelan making his debut in 2011. Williams are also getting used to a new Renault engine and changes in the technical department.

"I like this kind of pressure. the pressure I have to be competitive and not the 'Oh, I can't do anything wrong today because I might not be in the car tomorrow' kind," said Senna.

"I know I can be very competitive, I've proven it in the past and even recently in the Renault car. I can be quick. This is all pretty straightforward to me. The difficult thing is to prove to everybody that I can be consistent and that I can win races. I have done that in GP2... so I think this is the perfect opportunity to show what I am made of.

"It's a normal year and that's what I have been looking for the last three years," he said.

If all goes well, his family will be delighted. From a distance.

Bruno said: "My grandfather won't get into a plane to come to Europe. My grandma came to visit me a few times but she didn't quite make it to the races. I am not sure if she wants to come to a race. Even my mum doesn't particularly enjoy it.

"My grandparents have never been to a racetrack to watch me. It's tough for them and easy to understand. My mum... admits very easily that she doesn't really enjoy it. It's work and it's life but if it were her choice then it would be no. She gives me support, which is what matters," he said.

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