Bruno Senna is in the paddock at Silverstone, but he’s not driving the Hispania Racing car this weekend, having been replaced by Japanese driver Sakon Yamamoto.
I’m hearing from Spanish colleagues that it is only for one race and Senna will be in the car again in Germany and this has been confirmed by the team.
It appears not necessarily to be a money issue, although Yamamoto believed to have $5 million budget and the team needing money. I understand that there may be a disciplinary angle to this. A statement went out from the team this afternoon which said nothing about the reasons for the switch beyond them wanting to give one of the other drivers a go.
Senna’s deal with the team dates back to before the season, when the team was called Campos. It was based on the team being able to use the Senna name to attract sponsors. Senna and his family were not wanting to be obliged to provide budget for the drive.
Meanwhile it appears that the team may have acquired some of the assets of the Toyota team in Cologne. Serbian F1 aspirants Stefan GP had announced their intention to buy the Toyota chassis before the season, while more recently ART GP looked at buying the cars for a potential entry next season as the 13th team.
ART have officially withdrawn now from the race for the 13th franchise, citing unfavourable economic conditions.