Formula 1 – Williams F1 Confirms Bruno Senna for 2012‏; including Q&A

January 18, 2012

Formula 1

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Williams F1 today confirmed that Bruno Senna will contest the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship for the Williams F1 Team. The appointment finalises the team’s line up for this year following confirmation in December that Pastor Maldonado will enter his second season in Formula One as a Williams race driver. Bruno will make his debut with the Williams F1 Team in Jerez on 9th February at the first of the winter tests.

Frank Williams, Team Principal, said, “Bruno only started racing when he was 20 years old but quickly proved his talent in F3 and GP2. In a tightly fought 2008 GP2 season, Bruno finished second in the Championship with notable victories in Monaco and Silverstone, the latter in the wet. 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. 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.”

Bruno commented, “I feel very privileged that Williams has selected me as one of their race drivers. The team has a great heritage and I hope I can help write a good chapter in their history. The evaluation process has been intense and methodical but the time I have spent in the factory has demonstrated that the team has great people and all the resources needed to achieve better things this season.

“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. 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. I am very proud to be Brazilian and more motivated than ever to demonstrate what I can do. Ever since I first sat in a go-kart I never wanted to do anything else.”

Now you’ve been confirmed as a Williams driver, what are your thoughts heading into 2012?

I’m really happy to be a part of a team with such a fantastic heritage. I am very proud that Williams has chosen me to race in what will be an important year for them. Everyone is extremely motivated for 2012 and it is great to be part of that motivation. It is true that they didn’t have the best season last year, but it is clear that the team is on a new path and everyone is pulling together to ensure that this year is a better one. I really hope that I can demonstrate what I can do, not only for the team, but for myself. It’s going to be interesting to see what we can achieve together.

What are your objectives for the 2012 season?

It’s difficult to set objectives before the season starts, but I intend to push the car 100% to the limit to get the maximum performance we can from it.

What are your thoughts on the Renault engine having raced with it last season and what do you think Renault can bring to Williams in 2012?

After a few races with the Renault engine in 2011, I’ve learnt a great deal about it. It is a very good unit with good drivability, which is another positive step forward for the team. As a driver, you need to have every weapon available to you operating at its optimum in order to put in competitive times throughout the race.  I’m sure we can develop the car even further with the Renault engine and it will be interesting for me to be able to give the team feedback applying my previous experiences.

What do you make of your new team mate, Pastor Maldonado?

Pastor is a great driver. I’ve raced against him in GP2 and we always get along well. He’s been a very tough opponent in the past and he is going to be even tougher now we are both in the same car. We’ll certainly be trying to beat each other, but as teammates we’re going to work together to move the team forward.

Can you talk us through what you have been working on at the factory so far?

I’ve been at the Williams factory in Grove both before and after Christmas being really put through my paces in the simulator, on the track and in the gym. We’ve also done some evaluation work on the track (but not in an F1 car). The main purpose was for the team to evaluate me and to understand how to get the best out of me as a driver. But it’s also been really useful for me as it familiarises me with all the procedural things, such as learning the layout of the steering wheel before I get into the real car. When we start testing I won’t need to think about that so I’ll just be able to get on and drive the FW34.

So you have had an opportunity to work with your new engineers?

I think we’ve started off really well and now I’m looking forward to working with them more over the season. The relationship between a driver and engineer is something that few people can understand. You need mutual respect, to understand each other well and know how to work together in order to really gel from the start. That relationship and continuity can make such a difference to your overall performance.

What started your career in motorsport?

I was a motorsport fan from a young age and of course there has been a great influence from my uncle, but ever since I first put my feet into a go-kart I never wanted to do anything else. I’m very privileged to be able to do what I love, as to race in Formula One has always been my dream.

You were once quoted as saying that, given the chance to drive any legendary Formula One car from the past, you would choose the 1993 active-suspension Williams. How important is it to you to now be a part of a team with such a motorsport heritage?

The team has an amazing history and walking around the museum just makes me drool! I’ve seen many of these cars on track and always wondered how it would feel to actually race them. I’ve never been in one, so I think it would be good to get a run in the active ride car at Goodwood, just to get a feel!

You have considerable support from Brazil, can you tell us about that?

I feel very proud to be Brazilian right now. Knowing I have such great support behind me, people who have been there since the start, gives me such a great feeling. Knowing people have chosen me to bear their name gives me even more motivation to create good memories for them.

Your uncle, Ayrton, raced for Williams. How significant is it for you to be joining the team?

It will be very interesting to drive for a team that my uncle drove for. Quite a few of the people still here actually worked with Ayrton and I’m happy that they are now giving me the chance to prove myself here. Hopefully we can bring back some good memories and create some great new ones too.

Fast forward to this time next year, what achievements would you be happy with?

I hope that by the end of 2012 we can say we extracted 100% of the performance from the Williams-Renault FW34, whatever that may be. That is the most important thing. I just want to get the maximum possible out of the car and make the most of this opportunity. It is such an important year for both the team and myself as it will help shape my future. I hope that future will be long and successful, and it all starts here.

 

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