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Senna to enjoy F1 debut

2010-03-11 08:32

Manama - Bruno Senna feared up until last week that his F1 debut might not happen in Bahrain on Sunday but now he is determined to enjoy every minute of it.

The nephew of Brazil's late triple champion Ayrton, who died at Imola in 1994, signed for the new Campos Meta team last year but financial problems left their fate in the balance until a rescue deal was struck last month.

Even then, with the team renamed HRT (Hispania Racing), their participation in Sunday's season-opener was touch and go.

"Just before Colin (Kolles) took the team over (as principal), I was very low on expectation and confidence that the team was going to happen because we had spent so much time trying to be sold, trying to be bailed," he told reporters at the Sakhir circuit on Wednesday.

"We only knew we were going to Bahrain on Saturday when the car was loaded with half an hour to spare," added the 26-year-old. "It was all last minute and only really came together last week."

Senna, wearing a blue baseball cap and looking happy and relaxed, recognised that it would be a tough weekend ahead with the Dallara-designed car completely untested.

His Indian team mate Karun Chandhok was confirmed for Bahrain only last week.

"I think the plan is now on Friday to go out, do a shakedown, do an installation lap, back in, see if nothing's catching on fire, see if there are no leaks, then send the other car out and do these things a few times," said Senna.

Slow cars

Some other drivers have expressed concerns about the likes of HRT, Virgin and Lotus being dangerously slow in comparison to the leading teams, with Lotus at least five seconds off the pace in testing, but Senna shrugged that off.

"This is not too hard to deal with," he said. "I've been racing in the Le Mans Series with cars that are from two seconds to 20 seconds a lap quicker. It's perfectly possible to deal with traffic if you are in a faster car.

"The only thing you need is for the drivers all to respect each other and for sure this will come up in the drivers' briefing tomorrow and we will have to just discuss it."

Even if HRT were the slowest of the slow, Senna was determined to enjoy his moment.

He had missed out at the end of 2008, when he was close to a deal with Honda only for the Japanese manufacturer to pull out, and he appreciated what he did have.

"I am enjoying it already," he said.

"It's the start of a dream come true for me. I have had a pretty tough (time) so far, starting from the end of 2008 all the way to this year, where things have got there only to be taken away.

"It was starting to go that way this year, and it was hard to accept because it's one thing when you do something wrong -- if I am not quick enough, if I make a mistake on the track then I lost my chance.

"It's another thing when everything is outside your control and it veers off in a direction that you just can't recover. I'm very glad to be here and very thankful to be here."


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