Tous Avec Jules #17
Sochi 2014
Russian Grand Prix
Bruno Senna to race for Williams Renault
News
Screen shot 2012-01-17 at 12.21.33
Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Jan 2012   |  1:20 pm GMT  |  106 comments

Williams F1 today announced that Bruno Senna, nephew of former Williams driver Ayrton Senna, has joined the team to partner Pastor Maldonado for the 2012 season.

The news appears to put an end to Rubens Barrichello’s career in F1, spanning almost two decades. And it leaves just one seat open on the F1 grid, the second seat at HRT.

Senna was long rumoured to be favourite for the drive ahead of his fellow Brazilian, with the CEO of one of his sponsors, a Brazilian oil company, tweeting last week that he would drive for the team.

Senna did an unhappy year with HRT in 2010 and half a season with Lotus Renault GP last year, impressing on his first outing at Spa by qualifying seventh. He scored two points – his first in F1 – at the next race in Monza.

Sir Frank Williams says that his team has done a thorough evaluation of Senna’s abilities on the simulator and believes that all he needs is the right opportunity to show what he can do.

“The circumstances of Bruno’s two seasons in Formula One have not given him an ideal opportunity to deliver consistently so it was essential that we spent as much time with him as possible to understand and evaluate him as a driver, ” said Williams. “We have done this both on track and in our simulator and he has proven quick, technically insightful and above all capable of learning and applying his learning quickly and consistently. Now we are looking forward to seeing that talent in our race car.”

The presence of the name Senna on the side of a Williams Renault is going to be evocative for many fans of the sport. His uncle was killed at the wheel of a Williams and it remains the most painful episode in the team’s modern history.

“It will be very interesting to drive for a team that my uncle has driven for, particularly as quite a few of the people here actually worked with Ayrton,” said Senna. “Hopefully we can bring back some memories and create some great new ones too. I also want to get some good results in return for the support my country has given me to help get me to this position today.

Featured News
MORE FROM JA ON F1...
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:
106 Comments
  1. Steve Ward says:

    Fantastic News – Welcome to WilliamsF1

    1. kidVermin says:

      I think a better approach would have been to do a deal where Senna starts the season doing Friday Sessions with Rubens racing in the first two weekends and then phasing Rubens into a Third Driver Role in order to help the Engineers with Development over the season. Maybe Give Rubens 5 Race Weekends over the season. A bit of pre-season testing Mileage, THen the first Two Weekends just to give the Engineers a reference of sorts, Maybe involve Rubens in 3 more Races elsewhere on the calender especially around the testing session after the Flyaways. And then Senna can have 15 races to do his thing. I just hate the thought that this team will be led by Youngsters at a time when it has become obvious that they realy need leadership, unfortuantely they need the Money too.

      Would it not have been possible to maybe do a deal of this nature, securing a little bit of everything, I’m sure Rubens wouldnt be against it seeing that the alternative is for him to go home, and Senna wouldn’t be too happy but he’s racing Sutil for the seat.

  2. Chapor says:

    I am very happy that Bruno got a race seat… Congratulations.

  3. Ben G says:

    Great! Well done Bruno, and good luck.

  4. DMyers says:

    I’ve never been a Williams fan, but I think this is a laudable and brave decision. Senna clearly has the speed and talent, and the change to test the car before the season begins will be a luxury he has never fully enjoyed so far. I really want to see him do well, and I think this team could spring some surprises this year.

  5. Simon Emms says:

    Great to see Bruno in F1. More-than deserves his place. Such a shame that Rubens won’t be in F1 next year – he deserves a goodbye race

    1. Spinodontosaurus says:

      Never mind that – he deserves a drive. Age is irrelevant, especially considering his 2 most recent teamates have been some of these young talents that people think he should step aside for, and has bested them both quite well.

      1. Paul Kirk says:

        I TOTALLY agree, Spino!!! Although I’ve been a supporter of Williams since they started in F1, I consider it shamefull the way they’ve treated some of their drivers over the years, and now their treatment of Rubens has topped it off!! My opinion of them has declined to the point where I don’t care if they fail to exist!!
        PK.

    2. Trent says:

      I’m both pleased and saddened by this news.

      It will be a great chance to see what Senna has got, and he has earned this chance.

      But as you say, Rubens slipping away quietly from the F1 scene after 19 seasons is a travesty. Surely – surely – Williams could have made this happen in a different way. He deserves way more than that.

  6. james encore says:

    As you Not just a Williams. Senna in a Williams-Renault. Those who followed F1 over the Mayday weekend in 1994 will feel slightly odd about that.

    It’s hard not to like Ruebens, and sad to see him go, perhaps with 20-20 hindsight he should have called it a day after the Brawn-GP season.

  7. MC says:

    So who’s going to develop the car? They’d better hire an experienced test driver!

    1. Brad says:

      Have’nt they learned anything from Renault this year? Guess they need the sponsors, till the sponsors pull out because of underperformance…

    2. Andy C says:

      Who’s going to develop the toro rosso, or the force india?

      You could aim the point at quite a few teams that have done quite well with inexperienced drivers in the past.

      1. Brad says:

        treu, but Williams had quite a bad year, I’de thought they’de need an experience driver to drive the team forward….

  8. Ashwin says:

    Sutil?? Dead end.. sigh

    1. Sudha S says:

      sigh,sigh,sigh….. Hope he gets acquitted and can at least clinch a reserve driver role in a good team

    2. Adam T says:

      very true, im guessing that 1 or 2 teams may have regretted signing their drivers early

      1. Rich C says:

        Well as we have repeatedly seen in F1, as well as in other sports, a contract is not really a contract if one or the other party wants out.
        So, who know what’ll happen next.

    3. Andy C says:

      Lets not forget he might be tied up for an undeterminate period of time with a trial.

  9. Simple says:

    Sad news indeed :( Williams really must be struggling for cash.

    1. ian says:

      Well as I will not be watching on Sky I suppose one comfort is not seeing this once great team slide into oblivion.

  10. Mike J says:

    Firstly, it is always sad to see a well respected and very good driver come to the end of his career. With very few, if any, options about, Rubens F1 career is probably ended (I wouldn’t think he would go to HRT). Well done to Rubens for you have provided many great drives however it’s a pity you didn’t get a chance to decide the end. (if it is the end)

    On the other hand, and after watching back in 1994, I was in two minds about Bruno Senna joining Williams, but not for any particular reason. Now that the decision has been made I hope that Bruno shows whatever talent and speed he has to prove that he is worthy of the seat. Sure, Bruno is no Ayrton, but he now deserves his first full year in F1 team and hopefully, Williams will turn around their lack lustre years of previous times. I will certainly be hoping that he outperforms his many ‘naysayers’ and helps in the rebuild of Williams.

    It certainly must be a time for mixed emotions for Viviane?
    The saying, ‘the world will be watching’, truly is an understatement here.

    Personally, I think Ayrton would be happy with this decision by Williams and Bruno.

    1. Robie says:

      Agree- I too have mixed feelings as I like Rubens and Bruno but am sure that he will do Ayrton and Brazil proud.
      Good luck Bruno, Ayrton rated you very highly so show them what you can do!

    2. Richard Mee says:

      I respect Rubens as much as the next man.

      He’s still a fast driver.

      But at the same time, he had ample opportunity and warning tbh last season to step out on his own terms.

      He was extremely stubborn to cling on in Brazil – he seemed to be far more certain of his future in the sport than most observers were.

      I think he could have seen the writing on the wall and he should have called it a day in Brazil to a rightful hero’s send-off.

      Given current circumstances – I think he will take the HRT drive. Nothing to lose. Another 20 starts to record tally and take another run at the big Brazil send-off. That’s what it’s about now for him. He’s not playng for WDC any more.

  11. Sean Wiltshire says:

    This is great news for Senna, however very sad for Rubens

  12. Richard says:

    Good for him! – Bruno is one of the most likeable guys on the grid, and I think him sufficiently determined to learn quickly and do well within the capabilities of the car. I expect him to outperform Pastor Maldonado quite convincingly.

  13. forzaminardi says:

    [mod] Money talks.

    1. devilsadvocate says:

      Or as it seems you have selectively ignored… Talent talks and in this case spoke louder than the other options, the money was the icing on the cake.

      Rubens needed a push out the door, likeable guy but way too much young talent standing at the gates or not properly shining in a backmarker for him to just be making up the numbers in a middle tier team. Trulli, Massa, and Webber should take notice.

      1. Richard Mee says:

        How the hell is Trulli still an F1 driver!!?

        Talk about keeping your head down!

        He must be one hell of a development asset… or he’s actually paying the team in hard cash and wine everytime he sits in the car.

        Nice guy, but seriously…

      2. Paul Kirk says:

        I can’t agree with you, Richard, as I find it extremely boring when “new young tallant” enters F1 at the expense of the established drivers/personallities that we’ve followed and grown to know over the years. With the trend towards foreign countries’ governments and major companys sponsoring their “young talant” thereby making them attractive fo teams to take them on to help pay the bills, I don’t know what the future holds for F1. It’ll probably end up like F Ford with a heap of hairy-arsed teenagers playing with expensive toys they’ve been given. I’m really concerned about what will happen to the established drivers who get kicked out before they’re ready to retire!
        PK.

      3. Richard Mee says:

        I mean no disrespect Paul, but I think you are being sentimental. My comments on Trulli are based purely on his very poor recent performance. He’s even lost the edge he once had in qualifying. If younger/other drivers are genuinely quicker – regardless of any commercial tie-ins they bring – then they should get his seat. Surely that is fair enough?

        R

  14. Ram says:

    Sutil would have been wiser option…but the night at China will leave him with nightmares… i feel …next year 2013 ..will a tougher ask with new fresh talent breathing down his back

  15. huh says:

    “The circumstances of Bruno’s two seasons in Formula One have not given him an ideal opportunity to deliver consistently”..says the team dropping Hulkenburg after 1 impressive season.

  16. quest says:

    RIP Williams F1. Their slow and certain descent into oblivion has picked up another gear.

    From having a chance to sign Raikkonen they have finally settled on Maldanaldo and Bruno Senna. Amazing.

    1. I second your opinion.

      Long gone are the days of Juan-Pablo and Ralf, the last time this team was competitive.

      1. Andy C says:

        I disagree my friend. Hope you’re well.

        I think its a deal that financially had to be done. 2012 is going to be a year for bedding in the new tech guys, and to be honest get the team on a decent heading.

        I’m really sad to think Rubens wont get the sendoff he deserves. But that is the Viper pit of F1 isnt it.

    2. Steven says:

      Have you thought about thr fact that it may have been Kimis choice to not drive for Williams?

      1. kevin green says:

        I would think it would probably more so been Kimi’s choice not to drive for Williams with there continuing downward spiral possibly effecting his own future in F1 for sure. I also think Kimi and Bruno would have been a better driver line up for Lotus too this year.

      2. quest says:

        But he was negotiating with them. Wasn’t he. They should have done everything in their power to make sure he signed which obviously would have been on his terms.

        If you compare 2011 and 2010 standings only Williams slipped 3 positions. Otherwise the order is exactly the same. This year I suspect they will fall behind Caterham also.

        Bruno was barely beating Lotus/Caterham even last year. Those who say he did well probably only watched qualifying or are feeling nostalgic about Ayrton.

      3. Steven says:

        Im sure Kimi wanted money, and we all know Williams doesnt have it right now. Also, theres the posibilitie that Kimi was just using Williams as a bargaining chip, its been done before. By the way, just cause people say Williams will further behind doesnt make it so, lets wait and see what happens. Maybe, just maybe, they will go back up this year.

  17. gaz909 says:

    RIP Rubens, damp end to an epic career.

  18. Rob Newman says:

    Bruno almost sent Rubens packing last time when Honda was leaving F1. Luckily for Rubens, Ross Brawn kept him. This time Bruno managed to do it.

    Bruno never made any good impressions in F1 and I doubt that he ever will. But I wish him all the best!

    As for Rubens, he had enough time and opportunities to prove himself. Honestly, what is this guy going to achieve if he sticks with Williams? Nothing! Only thing missing from his CV is a drivers championship. Is he going to win it? No!

    It doesn’t matter whether it is Bruno or Rubens, performance and achievement wise it is not going to make much difference for Williams. Bruno brings money and the Senna name to the team, nothing else.

    1. Martin says:

      Hi Rob,

      I think all your points are valid, but I’d add one. Rubens might just enjoy driving F1 cars and racing against other one, anywhere on the grid could still be good fun. If he is paid good money to enjoy himself, is not being world champion so bad? He can always blame the car if he is matching is teammate.

      No other series has the downforce to weight ratio that make F1 cars special, so why downgrade if you don’t have too? Why go to DTM, for example, and be made to look like an idiot by people that most of world has never heard of because they know the cars so well?

      Cheers,

      Martin

  19. Señor Sjon says:

    Only logical:

    Barrichello:
    Two years of Barrichello only brought them to the back of the grid, so far for development experience, despite his media offensive the last few months.

    Sutil:
    Stands trial and may end up with a prison sentence. Not something you want to rave about against sponsors.

    Red Bull kids:
    Still in some way tied to Red Bull (Buemi) or without cash (Alg).

    vd Garde:
    Never a serious option, does have cash available. I do wonder what the Dutch sponsors on the Williams (Randstad, Philips Shavers) will do, combined with McGregor.

    Petrov:
    Rumours are that he will end up at Marussia or Caterham, despite confirmed drivers at both teams.

    1. Dominic J says:

      But to that you have to add:

      Maldonado: PDVSA money possibly under threat from parliamentary investigation. Outscored by Barrichello in 2011.

      Senna: Outscored by Petrov (hardly a star) in 8 races in a team that still finished 5th in the standings.

      The way I see it, Barrichello has only ever lost to his team-mate when it was Button (3/4 years) and Schumacher (every time) but has beaten the last two GP2 champions. I see choosing Senna as a sign that they are desperately short of cash. May he prove me wrong.

      1. DC says:

        agree with everything you said, but Rubens is not going to get quicker with more experience, bit Senna probably will.

        Also Petrov had a bit of a head start over Senna in the Renault team

    2. McGregor are a sponsor of Lotus nee LRGP.

      From what I gathered last year in KL, they seemed quite happy, albeit, they were on the podium in Melbourne then. :)

  20. MISTER says:

    I am happy for Bruno. I liked him since he showed he has speed in the Renault last year and wish him the very best for 2012.
    Now is his chance to show what he can do, with a fresh start and benefit from the pre-season testing.
    The only thing that remains is hoping for a decent 2012 Williams car.

  21. Andrew Carter says:

    Good choice, Senna proved in flashes last year that he’s quick and now he finally gets the chance for a full year in a proper car with testing. Now we’ll see what he can really do.

  22. Brent McMaster says:

    A really sad comment on the state of finance at Williams. They can say what they want about his “evaluation”, the truth is his wallet was the right fit for Williams.

    “Oh it’s a Senna in a Williams”, hardly; it’s a pay driver with a stage name driving for Willy’s Garage.

    1. ian says:

      And it makes you wonder exactly what Adam Parr is up to – surely this is pretty close to a public admission of complete failure.

      1. Brent McMaster says:

        I would agree Ian, but when was the last time you heard anyone at the top of a failed company admit any fault. Six years and an average finish of 7th, his record speaks for itself. Simon Mawer wrote, “The speed of the human mind is remarkable. So is its inability to face the obvious”.

      2. Jeff says:

        Yes, I agree, William’s are gone. They were gone the day they let Hulkenburg go. They will do nothing this year.

  23. Adelaide says:

    Goosebumps.
    My heart is with Bruno, all the best to him in 2012.

  24. eric weinraub says:

    Evidently they have F1 races in an alternate universe where the alternate Bruno is fast, scores good results, and has a bright future. In this one, he’s just another kid with deep sponsor pockets racing on a team on the rapid journey to the bottom. Sadly, I can see Williams being sold or outright folding. While I was not a huge Barichello fan, the hiring of Senna speaks volumes about the state of the sport.

  25. Alex T says:

    I remember how wonderful it was to see the pictures of Ayrton Senna driving the Williams Renault FW15D at Estoril in January 1994. We know what happened over the next few months and as a young teenager at the time Ayrton Senna’s death on live TV is seared into my memory.

    I have not been overly happy with the thought of Bruno driving for Williams on many levels. But I think when I see pictures of Bruno Senna driving the Williams Renault FW34 at Jerez in February it will be difficult.

    As a long time Williams supporter I am disappointed with how Rubens Barrichello has been treated. I am concerned that the team has a combined tally of three points in the combined less than 50 race career of its drivers. Do the drivers have the technical skills to deal with the engine change? What is the point of dealings with Qatar if it never results in commercial support? Lastly has sponsorship dollar become more important than results? Are Senna and Maldonado really the best available drivers. Let’s hope Coughlan and Gillan can produce a rocket.

    And then there’s Senna driving a Williams Renault.

    Good luck to the team and drivers; thanks and farewell to Rubens: I’m not exactly optimistic for 2012 or beyond for this great F1 institution.

  26. franed says:

    Is it just me that sees the irony of a Senna coming to Williams,at this particular time when active suspension has wrangled it’s way past the FIA in slightly different guise?

    The year that Ayrton joined was just as active suspension was banned making his Williams not what he had signed on for and a “bucket of poo” to drive, this was in tremendous contrast to the previous year’s active car, which was a dream on wheels. Remember also that Prost left because his “No Senna” clause was broken by Frank employing Ayrton.

    Good luck to Bruno, he may be one of the last ever Williams drivers.

    At the same time one feels a little sad that Rubino did not retire gracefully, but is left unemployed.

  27. Kevin Green says:

    Just find it so hard to believe that he is joining the team that in many peoples eyes whether it be design ie the floor scraping the ground whilst tyres cold or the steering columb suspected failure that he would join williams of all teams out of respect for Ayrton its a move thats certainly going to raise a lot of eye brows and going to split the family on opinion for sure, tense times in the senna clan!

    1. ian says:

      Nonsense.

  28. JeanHenry says:

    That is great news. Like someone else said it will be good for him to get a decent pre-season testing in and unlike HRT get a full seasons racing.

    I really hope there is an improvement at Williams this year so he can show his full potential.

    A little sad for Rubens but it is time to hang up his helmet and make way for a young talent.

  29. I think it’s great news for him and F1.!

    After testing for Honda in 2008 he was within a whisker of getting a drive for the then to become Brawn GP Team (and who know’s how far he’d have pushed Jenson that year..?).

    Good luck Bruno!

    1. Dominic J says:

      Given how hard he pushed Karun Chandhok, Christian Klien and Vitaly Petrov, I have an image of the Alonso-Massa relationship in my “what if” version of 2009.

      Hopefully he can push Maldonado harder.

  30. Wu says:

    I’m very glad he got another chance, and not because of his name. He seems like a good lad, with plenty more potential. He impressed in Spa last year, in a similar way to what Schumacher did in 1991.

    It is a shame that it seems Rubens’ career in F1 is over. I’m sure he can still get third driver/test role anywhere he wants, and one of the new (rubbish) teams would have him. But please Rubinho, give it a rest already.

  31. goferet says:

    Mamma mia!!!

    This news certainly explains a number of things.

    1. Why Williams took so long to confirm their second driver seat i.e. They were ashamed of how this news will be interrupted by many and if they could hide the identity of Bruno for the entire season like Top Gear does with The Stig, am sure they would.

    2. Why Frank Williams’ partner – Patrick Head has decided to leave the F1 arm of the team i.e. Couldn’t agree more with the way Frank was driving this team of late = Driving it straight into the blasted ground.

    Yes, however much spin Williams may want to put on this story, it’s quite obvious to real F1 fans that this is nothing but a marriage of convenience in that Williams gets bags full of money from two pay drivers in return the likes of Bruno & Pastor live out their fantasies.

    This is so wrong, this team used to be a power house & it should have done all in its power to secure Kimi or at least Sutil (or kept Hulkenburg) for top drivers would have got them more points which would have earned the team more money which they so badly need, I presume.

    Anyway, what we see here is the beginning of the end of Williams F1 team.

    Bye-bye Williams!

  32. Kevin Green says:

    !!!!!!Whats your personal views on the move James Alan, Would also be interesting to hear other drivers and F1 figures past and present’s views on the move too!!!!!!!!

    1. James Allen says:

      My views are in the follow up piece. He deserves his chance. Hope the car is good

      1. Kevin Green says:

        But is it really fitting him being in that seat of all seats taking history into account? I would question his own thoughts on it too would wonder if any seats were available from Caterham or above if he would be there instead. All seems a bit desperate. Would love to get an honest insight to his own and families true thoughts on it all just seems so so wrong wonder what the great man would be thinking! :(

      2. Brent McMaster says:

        Brazil must produce tabloids, you could likley get all the gossipy crap there.

      3. DC says:

        F1 is not a sentimental business

      4. Kevin Green says:

        Very true but nothing tends to or should carry stronger sentimental matters/values than family, remember were talking Bruno going into Williams more so than Williams accepting Bruno this has got to be the biggest sporting taboo ever. Its not even as if he was a distant bloodline so to speak nephew as many uncle/nephew relationships often turn out to be as when you pretty much simply know who each other are and what your family links are/were. Going by the very graphic and clear home video’s from the film they were clearly very very close. Its all very hard to imagine never mind the reality that it has turned into.

      5. Brisbane Bill says:

        Saying that Bruno Senna shouldn’t drive for Williams is like saying that I don’t eat pizza because my uncle was eating it when he choked and died. I am from a bike racing background and have been close to people who have died due to the sport but you wouldn’t decline a Honda contract because a family member was killed racing for Honda (just ask the Dunlop family). It was a different era with different technology and different safety standards. F1 is a hugely cut-throat business where you eat or get eaten. Sentiment? That comes after you get out of the sport.

      6. Kevin Green says:

        Were talking chalk and cheese comparisons on personalities abilities and profiles there though between the average uncle and reasionably famed motorcylist who to be honest was in a minefield of 99% of any like threatening situation being down to nothing more than driver ability or freak road surface conditions Absolutely no comparison. the circumstances with Ayrton was clearly down to design (one way or another) component failure (most likely in my view) or both

  33. IanC says:

    While I suspect Williams will be able to milk the Senna name for additional sponsorship; the fact remains that both Senna and Maldonado are entering their late 20′s and secured their drives through large sponsorship packages. Both are at best short-term and neither have much experience developing a car. Williams would have been far better to retain Barrichello, who could have developed the car, and in 2013 a young driver with potential could have been brought in. I fear that Williams are going down the (original) Lotus path.

    1. Andrew says:

      Maldonado was GP2 champion. Senna has been runner up. Most of the drivers for middle teams last year or in contention for this year did not achieve that. Eg Buemi/ Alg , Kobayashi/Perez, Sutil/Di Resta, Petrov.

      Does a GP2 champion not merit a drive in F1? He performed just as well as Hulkenberg did against Barrichello.

      Personally I don’t want to see 6 drivers from one country in F1 (Germany). So although I have nothing against Sutil I am happy to see Senna given a proper chance.

      1. Daniel MA says:

        I agree, some people focus just on the fact that they are “pay drivers” and ignore everything everything else that they’ve done. That’s why I think we should wait to the end of the season to see who is the best, if one beats the other by a huge margin then it will be clear who didn’t deserve the seat in the first place.

  34. Jiri says:

    I am glad that Bruno got a proper chance to show what he can do – he will be able to prepare for the season and will not have excuses, he must beat Maldonado. He showed great flashes of speed in Renult, Spa and Interlagos qualifying especially but was a bit incosistent during races. Barrichello has had his time and it is time to get a chance for youngsters. Having said this I would love to see more GP2 talents graduate like Bianchi.

  35. Vipin says:

    I believe Williams made a wrong decision by sending Rubens away.

    Bruno came due to sponsors. Not due to his time in simulator. I can’t accept what Williams say here.

    Its really sad to hear that Rubens future is in big doubt. He is really a good driver. He has lot of experience more than Bruno. Williams must have given Rubens a chance.

    ALL THE BEST FOR YOUR FUTURE RUBINO!!!!!!

    1. DC says:

      im not particularly sympathetic to Rubens because i think this was always going to happen as Rubens was never going to retire. Every year he wants to be back next year so if he wasnt going to call it quits, the teams was eventually going to. It was inevitable.

      1. Brad says:

        True, although I feel quite sad for Rubens his time has eventually “expired”. Thing is, his reaction after the news is still one who desperately wants to make a comeback

  36. David Ryan says:

    Unfortunately, despite Williams’ assurances to the contrary, for me this feels too much like a pay driver deal. Bruno has raw speed, as his GP2 title challenge demonstrated, but on objective terms was he a better bet for what will be a development year than Rubens? I’m not convinced. Maybe it’s my scepticism, but the fact that Senna’s sponsor logos are already on the team gear stood out for me. I wish Bruno the best of luck for this season, but for me this decision is in the same ballpark as replacing Damon Hill with Heinz-Harald Frentzen and I feel Rubens has been very hard done by. I’m a Williams fan deep down, but I’m not impressed by this.

    1. Brent McMaster says:

      It was a pretty weak field the year Senna raced GP2 and he did have the best equipment. Kobayashi seems to be the one that has shown results of the 2008 crew. We will see about Grosjean, but personally I think we saw his stuff the last time; his credtials this time are management and nationality.

  37. Paul J says:

    As a Williams fan, I am actually quite happy that they chose to put Senna in the car. I like Rubens, and he’s obviously more experienced than.. well… everyone! Williams needed to shake things up, put a buzz back in a team that has been lackluster and gradually sliding backwards for several years. And it’s not like Rubens was blowing Madonado away every weekend, like he should have been. Plus Senna is not slow – he obviously knows how to drive, he has impressed a few people around the paddock, and not just in the few races before his contract expires (like a certain A. Sutil). And why should they not benefit from the publicity and the extra sponsorship? Nothing helps move a team back up the grid like a healthy cash injection and a motivated atmosphere. I think that Williams Renault will spring some surprises this year – hopefully good ones! And THEN we can get rid of Maldonado… Go Williams!!

    1. Paul J says:

      And those who are over-using the term ‘pay driver’ should consider that Rubens was putting up something like $5m to race in 2012, so it wasn’t all about the money…

  38. VanDhloms says:

    Rubens should have bowed out in front of his home crowd last season, I’m sure it would have been special to wave goodbye at home than Tweeting. On the other hand, I think Bruno will do a better job than Maldonado. In the past seasons he’s been able to jump into a car that was designed for someone else, work with engineers with different car setup mindset than what he would like, but still do a descent job with an inferior car. Hopefully pre-season test will gear him up for a good season.

    1. James Allen says:

      Your first point is one that many F1 insiders made during the Brazil GP weekend and are making again now

      1. Brisbane Bill says:

        The problem is – when does a sportsman know when the time is right to stop? Many go on to see their status and reputations decline. One of the issues is that are surrounded by people who have vested interests in the sportsman continuing as they all earn money off the back of him. Someone of trust should have had a long hard talk with him and pointed out that if he was content in running round in a mid-field team then it was time to stop. The tail-end and mid-field teams should be packed with up-and-coming chargers looking to make a name for themselves and get a top seat. The top seats should go to the drivers with realistic chances of fighting for race wins and championships. Any other sort of driver is taking up valuable space on a restricted grid.

      2. Ed says:

        Eric Cantona.

  39. scott sturgeon says:

    As a life long Williams fan I actually think this is quite a good move,these two guys bringing in shed loads of cash give Bruno and all the new technical boys a chance to get in the groove then have a proper stab at it for the 2013 season.
    As for rubens I’ve always liked him but where was all his massive development input since he arrived at Williams?for sure we didn’t give him much of a car but it didn’t get much better for all his experience?on top of this he spent the best part of last season moaning about and criticising,I reckon I’d get the boot from my job if I’d done the same.
    I would’ve preferred Kimi but in my heart I knew that was to good to be true.
    Look forward to reading rubens memoirs and hopefully seeing Williams tearing up the field a la brawn at the 1st test very soon!
    Keep the faith brothers

  40. Don Farrell says:

    It’s going to be strange sight and as somebody said ‘eerie’ for us veteran F1 fans to see Senna written on the side of a Williams again. I’m sure we’ll get used to it after a few races. Williams has been on a downward spiral since we lost Aryton Senna, maybe this will complete the circle for Williams, giving the team some healing karma, giving them the ability to move forward from those dark days in 1994. So good luck to Bruno & Williams.

    1. Wu says:

      Winning 2 titles since then and coming very close against Schumacher isn’t exactly ‘spirling down’. Before 2005, only Mclaren achieved as much as Williams. The real spiral down was really post 2003 for them, whereas Mclaren went up.

    2. Tony says:

      I’m not really understanding all the ‘Senna in a Williams’ nostalga. to me it will always be ‘Senna in a McLaren’

      Regarding Williams being in a downward spiral since they lost Senna, I think we might need to remind ourselves exactly how many WCC points Senna ever scored for Williams (from memory I think it’s Zero)

  41. Santino Sirignano says:

    What about Hulkenberg? he is talented yet he was dropped for more cash! who going to say Senna is better than Hulkenberg, dream on!! this is a pay driver deal and a greed for cash, i hope they have another poor season, complete greed should not be rewarded!!

  42. Raul Echeverria says:

    I think that Bruno is a good driver given the opportunity. He had a piece of junk – the HRT that Vettel would struggle to get on the back of the grid and half a season with Renault in let’s face it a car that cannot go round slow corners because the stupid front facing exhausts :-). The bad results he had were due to technical issues, penalties that were harsh and bad luck and choices with tyres and strategies his team made. Spa for me said it all. Rain separates the greats from the goods – he produced magic – the boy has talent. Why oh Why do we have to go on Sponsorship? Money is part of the sport – let it go – So what? Hamilton got a race winning car straight away – but because he is British hey let’s pretend he worked his way up the F1 ladder and rave on about him and rip into everyone else

  43. Gary Corby says:

    Williams just turned into a car hire business.

    1. Vipin says:

      You are exactly right.

  44. Allan says:

    People have been saying that Bruno hasn’t had the chance to really show what he can do, such as bad preparation, bad car…etc etc. Well now is his chance, make or break really.

    Same goes for Daniel Riciardo. He’s now gotta show what he’s got in that STR car. It’s not a bad car (at least compared to HRT) and he really has to step up now.

  45. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    Williams were once a team that dictated terms to the best drivers and weren’t afraid to sack them if they got too pushy. Their car was quick enough with almost anyone driving it. To sink to the level of having two pay drivers matches them in my mind with HRT. Perhaps next year’s strategy is to intend to bid for Pedro’s services?

    The best thing that can happen to this team is for it to be sold to some wealthy Arab kingdom like the top teams in the Premier League. This would give it the long term funding that it lacks and give them the ability to pay for decent drivers and slowly haul themselves up the ladder. To me signing Senna and collecting additional funding means that management has worked out that this year’s car will be uncompetitive and they need to build towards 2013. Having two pay drivers means they collect the money and have no obligation to be competitive. That way for 2013 they can sack Maldanado and insert Massa (who will be available) and perhaps unseat Senna with a promising junior.

  46. kevin green says:

    Maybe not and understandably why, But family values very much are and its not that far in history books alongside the fact in many peoples view he is the most amazing figure that has ever graced the sport of F1. All seems selfish bordering desperate can see the Williams appeal though to possibly somewhat cleanse there name from the history books!.

  47. I can’t understand why all the negativity in theses situations. Driver changes are common place.
    Rubens has had a good run and Williams would have learnt a great deal from him over the last two seasons.
    Williams had a torrid season last year and can only improve hopefully with two young reasonable experienced drivers.
    I also don’t like all the talk of Ayrton at Williams. He drove 3 races for them. The first two he didn’t finish and extremely sadly he along with two other drivers died at Imola that weekend.
    Williams are a glorious historic team that sadly made one mistake and that was BMW. They were right to go manufacture route but the wrong one.

    1. Kevin Green says:

      What are you rattling on about BMW being a bad move?? they were regular at the front with BMW with Montoya getting very close to the title, it was the switch to Toyota and Cosworth when the wheels fell off!! got to remember Renault left them up poop creek after the 97 season by suddenly departing F! leaving BMW to tinker about with a old Renault (under another name for obv reasons) engine whilst they developed a F1 engine again of there own which was quite successful as a engine unit.

      1. The bad part about BMW is that they tried to get Williams tech out of them and when they supplied engines and Sir Frank said no you can’t have it.
        Following year they suddenly pull out and start their own team.
        Williams were left with no choice to take the Toyota deal and subsequently the same with Cosworth.

      2. Kevin Green says:

        And the other options at the time were??? there performances have clearly slipped more so down to there own work rather than engine supplier BMW done a very good job for them having them with top 3 constructors twice and 2nd also within the 1st 3 years with there 1st new OWN engine in what 20 odd years which is spectrum 48k v Apple i pad in tech comparisons. Williams would have probably been BMW or Honda as such by yr 2000 if BMW had not come on board when and as they did anyway! Think this is going to be Williams most testing season ever in a lot of respects.

  48. I wonder if he’ll be the second Senna not to score any points driving for Williams.

  49. Alan Westwood says:

    Its a great pity that Rubens Barrichello was relaced by Bruno Senna as he could have been on the podium if not an outright winner today May 13 on the circuit Catalunya. He is still a great driver regardless of his age.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Top Tags
SEARCH News
JA ON F1 In association with...
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer