copyright The Cahier Archive

Bruno Senna’s recent appointment at Williams at the expense of Rubens Barrichello could be seen as cantaloupe for both Brazilians, given it inherently signifies the end of Ruben’s F1 career, whilst marking Bruno’s bona fide métier after he missed out on a plumb Brawn seat in 2009. Though Williams may be at their lowest ebb since 1977, a full-time gig for Bruno could be the tonic both he and Williams need for genuine improvement.

 Bruno’s single-seater career shares much in common with Damon Hill’s (and not just by lineage), as both their competitive lives were put on hold after tragedy struck their respective families (with the death of Bruno’s uncle Ayrton and Damon’s father Graham respectively). Although Bruno’s predicament was not as financially crippling as Damon’s, Senna’s enforced sabbatical from the sport (on request from his mother Viviane) precluded beneficial single-seater experience that (like Damon) Bruno has had to catch-up on in record time.

 It’s fair to say that Senna’s time at HRT (much like Hill’s 1992 season at Brabham) was spent wrestling a veritable shitbox, and would never be destined to set the F1-world alight. Nevertheless, even after losing his seat, Bruno never let his head drop, taking drives with Team Oreca at Le Mans in an effort to stay race fit. Such efforts do not go unnoticed, as Hill can attest after gambling borrowed cash on one-off drives in the lower level British F3000 championship and Le Mans appearances for Richard Lloyd Racing, where the engine failed after 228 laps!

 When Damon tested for Williams in ‘92 he did so at a time when test-drivers could actually test! Giving Hill much needed seat time and invaluable experience in setting up a car. You only have to look at Paul Di Resta’s impressive debut season with ForceIndiato realize how the DTM series has given Di Resta fundamental grounding in this area. Even given his relative inexperience after being promoted to a full-time Williams race seat in ‘93, Hill’s ability to out-qualify and withstand more pressure than a Flamanville reactor from three-time World Champion Alain Prost in various Grand Prix was the mark of a new found maturity and a man at home with his surroundings.

copyright LAT images

Just like Hill, the fundamental speed is there with Senna, but despite qualifying a superb seventh for Renault at Spa last year (ahead of Fernando Alonso no less), being thrown in at the deep-end half-way through the year won’t exactly give you the self-possession one needs to put a mistake-free race together – let alone a solid, albiet fragmented season (yes – a contradiction in itself!)

 So finally, a full-time seat complete with pre-season testing awaits the young Senna. In addition, the recent departure of Patrick Head and acquisition of ex-McLaren man Mike Coughlan could provide a new dynamic within Williams that may prove perfect timing for Bruno in which to build the kind of meliorism even Jenson Button took years to build.

 That’s if Bruno doesn’t mind giving up his Friday drives to Valtteri Bottas that is…


About trentprice

Driver ICoach V8 Race Experience Freelance writer Freelance Writer (Sole Proprietorship) Sole Proprietorship; Myself Only; Writing and Editing industry 2011 – Present (less than a year) Writing for film and entertainment and motoring magazines in Australia and UK REGION 4 Magazine Responsibilities: Press releases for new media products, competitions and events co-ordinator, article concept developer, arranging and conducting interviews within the film industry including actors such as Heather Graham, Monet Mazur, Steve Coogan and Seinfeld’s Michael Richards to name but a few. Writer: creative performance Artist Services – Foxtel Cable Television Australia Responsibilities: Writer, performer and segment producer overseeing editing and post-dubbing ABC Recovery –ABC Television- Weekend Youth Music program - Writer and performer ABC Backberner- ABC Television-Australian news satire program – Writer MG Enthusiast -Kelsey Publishing UK February 2011- Feature motoring articles MG Racer Magazine- online publication Responsibilities: Co-founder, writer, editor, concept developer, promotion and marketing, sponsorship coordination MG Racing in Australia- online forum Responsibilities: Concept developer, writer, monitoring of content

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