The Brazilian, Bruno Senna, has been around the blocks a few years, starting his career with the HRT team after earning his way through with the runner-up finish in GP2 series. He had been on points only once at Monza driving for LRGP before switching over to Williams for his first full season after replacing his fellow countrymen Rubens Barrichello. He came to F1 with huge expectations behind his shoulders especially as he carry an illustrious surname in all of racing.
The nephew of Ayrton has had an unobtrusive first-half to the season yet managing to bag a sixth place on the rain-hit chaotic race in Malaysia. Highly overshadowed by the victory of Alonso and Sauber’s first podium since the BMW times in that fight till the flag race. Before the session being red flagged, Senna has been found nowhere and wandering at the back with a few heartbreak spins including.
Despite all that, he garnered his composure and notched up some much anticipated points to the Grove based outfit. In the next race, brimming with confidence, Senna battled his way through the field to finish seventh ahead of Maldonado, despite clipping his front wing in the opening lap. Since then, his qualifying times begun to reflect on his race day performance and while team-mate Maldonado scrabbled about on q3, Senna had to only contend with the mid-fielders.
Unlike his late great uncle, Bruno has a smoother driving style and in fact it pays dividends on race trim as he ended up salvaging points in few races. Maldonado’s outright pace gifted him with a pole-to-flag victory at Spanish GP but slashing out the twenty five points out of his total, inconsistency of scoring let him down as he crashed and paid frequent visits to the stewards’ office on a number of times.
Before the summer-break kicked in, all that Williams needed was a good finish and reliable pace. The reserve driver, Valteri Bottas, threatened to dispossess Senna and reported to have claiming his stakes for a race seat come 2013. The race at Hungary proved to be crucial for Senna off the back of yet another pointless weekend in Germany. In all but Monaco and Canada, Bottas had been a regular in first practice driving Senna’s FW34.
When Senna got his hands back in the car for afternoon session, he immediately felt home posting good lap times only to be hampered by the rain showers. Over a second clear advantage on Pastor, he fancied a q3 berth after the third and fourth places during practice sessions. Senna himself admitted that his elation has seen no boundaries after securing P9 for the race. He made a great start pipping Maldonado and kept a clean-nose on the first lap.
As clouds heralded its arrival, Senna pushed as hard as he could and revealed to have a race set-up for cooler conditions. Consequently, he wavered across when the sun has come out but bravely fended off Jenson Button for a while before eventually having Webber all over his mirrors in the closing stages. He just kept the Redbull at bay until the flag for a special finish. His valiant effort has seen him overhaul Webber, Massa and Rosberg.
He quipped after the race that he has driven with a compromised set-up and felt the front-end good throughout the weekend. Might his new front brake duct which heat up the tyres would have helped. I see no reason why people blame Bruno for being what he really is. He didn’t buy his way into F1 and he has the talents to stay up there for a long time. This season is all about putting the heads down and finishing on consistent basis. Nevertheless, Senna could now enjoy the break and relax himself. He languishes just four points adrift to Maldonado and has the battle raging to keep the race seat at Williams as F1 circus resumes at Spa on September.