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Audio interview: JA talks to Bruno Senna
Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Jan 2012   |  9:36 pm GMT  |  65 comments

Here is the audio of an interview I did with Williams’ new driver Bruno Senna for BBC Radio 5 Live this afternoon.

The interview runs just under 7 minutes. We spoke about painful memories of his uncle Ayrton’s time at Williams, the Williams team in transition with new technical staff, his thoughts on where his move leaves Rubens Barrichello and his plans for pre-season testing.

Bruno also takes a look forward to the 2012 F1 season and the state of the competition with changes on rules on exhausts.

Throughout the season you can follow our F1 adventures on BBC Radio 5 Live on Twitter on @5liveF1. And good news for readers in the USA, you’ll be able to listen to our coverage on Sirius this season.

If you have problems with the Soundcloud player below, you can access the audio content via this LINK

Bruno Senna Interview 5Live 1 by JA on F1

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A leap to McLaren after Williams would complete the hat trick of his uncle’s teams haha…


This must be one of the best videos with Bruno and Ayrton Senna:

Good Luck to Bruno!! Hope he proves all the naysayers wrong.


Hi James, I posted a polite in every respect comment on Senna v Maldonado here but it seems to have been moderated out…….

Can’t imagine why….


I don’t want to hear.


Great news about Serius. I can finally listen in the US


I’ve been watching F1 for over 30 years and always support the Brit drivers, and although it wont happen, I would love nothing more than to see Senna “doing a Brawn” this year.

It would be a very emotional day to see Bruno winning in a Williams.


I really hope more 5Live content can appear on this site, great interview James.

Best of luck to the lad, I think this is going to be a superb story to follow in 2012.


Really like how Bruno carries himself. I hope Williams has a good car this year. Great piece James. Thanks.


James another off-topic question: Regarding your sometimes post-race interviews with the podium drivers that are shown ‘world-wide’ (except when the TV channels edit them out through lack of time!!), I’ve always wondered: are those dates when YOU do them pre-set (marked in your diary) before the start of the season? (ie so you know already which ones you’ll be doing this year?) Who decides when you do them, and why are some done by you and others by other people? And perhaps now you’ll be doing fewer of them as you already have your hands full with 5 Live?! 😉


Sorting that out now. It’s co-ordinated by FOM TV and it depends on a number of factors. I’ll do a similar number to my 2011 commitment.

Tornillo Amarillo

Smiling, it is an advantage for Bruno.

He smiles better than anyone in F1, better than Sutil or Petrov.

And fortunately, he is brazilian like Barrichello, so he can get the same sponsor.

So he got it.


——Off topic! ——-

James, regarding your new position at the BBC. Will you be joining the boys on the red button forum after the races? Your insight would be amazing!


…you know this means I now have to get a subscription to Sirius. How much will go through Sirius – races only or more than that? I assume that 5 Live internet streaming will still be blocked because of Bernie’s rights restrictions?

And I assume you will be doing the 5Live podcasts?

thanks, good stuff


I understand it that all the race weekend coverage will be on Sirius


I’ve been hoping (but not expecting) for Bruno to get a full time drive.

I have always thought hes got potential, and coming in in the middle of the season with no testing was a difficult ask for him.

I genuinely think there is some substance there and he now gets the full season, and pre season testing to get it going.

Gillan and Coughlan are excellent additions to the team, as is the driveability of the renault engine.

Lets hope they change that silver stripe for gold and we’ll have a full retro looking Williams next year, with pace to boot.

In reality I think it will take Mike at least 1 full season to turn around the car. I hope I’m wrong.


Amazed at his level of maturity, from the sound of it at least… I see him having a Kubica type like career progression but we’ll see… Anyone knows how long his contract is with Williams?


Wishing someone a Kubica type career progression is a bit of a backhanded compliment given where he (Kubica) is now!


and it’s an observation, not a wish per se.


I’m talking about Kubica’s experience and how he has evolved as a driver over the years. Not his accident and what he’s going through at the moment…


I Believe he is certainly good enough to be in F1 good enough for the top i think not but certainly justifies being in the midfield pack for sure which funnily enough is where Williams look to be rattling about for the next few years at very least anyway it just all seems very wrong as i have previously said him being in that seat seems all very disrespectful if anything. great interview anyway James and i certainly hope he does have success at his time with Williams would certainly help to remove a lot of the historic stains. in my mind at least anyway.


I wish him well and i hope the car is good enough for Bruno to have a good season. Its great to have the Senna name back in F1.


Good luck Bruno , action speaks louder than all words ever will so lets see the points at end 2012!!


There is a whole topic waiting to be explored in relation to racing in the blood. DSJ once wrote an article in Motor Sport concerning racing Brothers and how it was always the younger brother who had the most success , this was before the Family Schumi started racing. It would be quite interesting to find out if Damon Hill and Jaques Villeneuve ever compared notes on how their names helped/hindered progress in F1.


Bruno’s Uncle will always draw a lot of comments and memories. Ayrton winning in Spa (1989 in the rain)was one of mine. Let us hope Bruno makes a mark of his own.

Panayiotis Chrysanthou

Excellent interview. Well done James.

I was wondering, do you think that driving talent is hereditary? Surely there have been occasions where offsprings managed to shine and make history on their own merit, but there are also plenty cases where the results simply did not justify the chances they were given.

And I am asking, did they happen to get the chance to be in an elite spot of 24 (or 20 etc depending on the season) in so many millions on the planet, due to their skills or due to their name and exposure they had to the sport? Because let’s face it, surely having to live up to the expectations of a famous name cannot be easy and comes with a lot of pressure, but in my eyes it is definitely preferable than having the sheer talent and not being able to exploit it because nobody is interested in infamous drivers with no major sponsorships behind them.


There are billions of people on the planet, but many less that get time in a go kart at a young age, of those with talent, a fraction will have family that will follow it through, so the pool is not as big as you might think, then if the father is a racer he can train the child well regarless of genetics, I think a top racer needs good genetics and plenty of nurture, most racedrivers Sons/Nephews would get lots of both compared to the general populus, so that’s why they are overrepresented


It’s a good question. I was always interested to watch how Ralf Schumacher would do ‘alongside’ Michael. He did OK but of course never as good as Michael.

I think it’s simply kinda Hit-And-Miss:

(a) The offsprings have the ‘job’ ingrained in them simply from growing up in the shadow of the seemingly obsessed father so they are likely to subconsciously try to learn the craft, and from a younger age;

(b) No doubt the offsprings get more likelihood of test drives simply because they ARE the offsprings!

(c) But whether the son or relative has the same talent as the father is hit-and-miss: as many parents know, you can have 2 kids completely different – so it’s never certain any offspring will have the same talents. I have a hunch that statistically there would be more ‘failures’ than successes!


That is a whole topic for debate in itself

Mahmood from Nigeria

I am so happy for this guy. I always thought he deserved a permanent seat. Bruno never had the stability in F1 to really measure up his skills. His time at HRT felt like he was still driving a GP2. Now he has a steady platform to show what he really has. Best of luck #Bruno


Hi james, great interview, really looking foward to read/see/hear your work throught the year!!! I hope Bruno has success at Williams…it would be great to have these two names back at the front…

As side note, a couple of weeks ago I ordered your book throught the website to get the limited edition signed by you but, the book I recieved had no signature…maybe some mistake? In any case, it’s a great read…just pitty about the error in my book…



That’s not possible. I signed every one of them – took me ages. Where are you based!


Hi, I’m based in Tenerife. I can send you the order number…


Cheers for that. If it was an honest mistake, no worries, main thing is the writing 🙂


Hi, looked everywhere but could not find a contact email so, I’m sending you here the order number, I received this from

JAONF1 Order Confirmation

Dear Mr Francisco Presa,

Order reference number: 363806



I’ve asked our partner Grand Prix Legends to look into it.




excellent interview James


I’m glad Senna finally has a full shot and I hope he proves against the current trend. Everyone seems to be clamouring for young upstarts as though age is some sort of badge of honor, and I don’t buy it. Bruno in terms of racing years experience is extremely young, hope he shines.


Is good to see Bruno progressing well, from HRT to Renault and now Williams. Now I have high expectations from 2012 season with him and 6 world champs on the same track. It is like a dream F1 season coming to reality.


Pastor will be a kind of reference point for the team to show progress [or not] over last year.

Much less pressure on Bruno to start with, but he can’t lag behind after the first couple of races. I don’t expect he will…


Given Renault were a better team last year, and can’t see why they wouldn’t be better again this year, it doesn’t seem like much of a promotion to move to Williams.


Progressing Renault to Williams???? Were Talking now not then lol

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