• Aug 25, 2011
Most drivers who fail in F1 fail downwards – that is, they drop down to another form of motorsport and change focus. But if your name is Senna, you fail up.

Having tested for Honda before it closed up shop and quit F1, Bruno Senna took the only chance he had to get onto the grid when he debuted with the Hispania Racing Team. That didn't work out so well – mostly, truth be told, because the team wasn't up to speed – but after retiring from as many races as he finished and failing to score a single championship point, he was released by HRT.

The nephew of the late, great Ayrton Senna was then picked up as a test driver for the Renault team, which has now announced that it will be giving Bruno a chance to race again this weekend. He'll be taking the place of Nick Heidfeld, who himself was brought in to fill in for an injured Robert Kubica.

That Heidfeld was actually doing better than his teammate Vitaly Petrov in the standings so far this season didn't seem to deter the Renault strategists in their desire to shake up its driver lineup over the summer break. Whether Senna is kept on or replaced in turn will likely depend on his performance, so we'll be watching this weekend and waiting until the team makes a more detailed announcement.


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  • 16 Comments
      MikeInNC
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like Bruno and of course his uncle was one of the greatest ever to steer a car but Heidfeld is getting ripped off. He came in late and is still faster than Petrov despite his car letting him down multiple times. If this wasn't purely about money they would shove Petrov to the test car and see if Bruno can keep up with Heidfeld (I doubt it). All of this is really unfortunate b/c we all know that Kubica would be quicker than all of them. I truly hope that RK can come back and regain his speed in the car. Truly a super nice fellow and one of the quickest drivers on the grid. Good luck to Bruno. I'd love to see him prove me wrong. As for Heidfeld, another team would be crazy not to try and sign him.
        WatchF1
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MikeInNC
        Money. It has been, and continues to be a money problem for Renault. They asked for an advance on their constructor's payout from Bernie last year. Also, they're paying Nick and he's not performing. Bruno brings along money. I'm happy he's getting another shot.
          mike m
          • 3 Years Ago
          @WatchF1
          And so has Petrov who has the attraction of being the only russian on the grid so I can't imagine it's hard for him to bring in the money. Brazil's economy is booming in the last few years and while it's nowhere in comparison to Germany (where Heidfeld is from), rich Brazilians are not quite as jaded (yet) so Brazilian drivers especially those in F1 (and that would be Massa and the "old man" Barichello) get tremendous support. And as to Senna, he has both the look and personality to attract sponsorship. All he has to do is be good enough until he could land a seat in a great team and if everything works out, he could pull a Jenson (Button).
        Filipp Gorelik
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MikeInNC
        Heidfeld has long been washed up. That he could not resoundingly beat Petrov despite his years of experience only speaks to that. Like Coulthard, he has been bobbing up in F1 past his sell-by date. I'm glad to see him gone.
      Viny do Carmo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ayrton said once "If you think I'm good, just wait until you see my nephew Bruno". We are still waiting...
        Filipp Gorelik
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Viny do Carmo
        Kind of hard to prove how good you are in an HRT, but now he'll have no excuses.
      Myself
      • 3 Years Ago
      Are there more offsprings of Brazilian drivers lining before the Renault's motorhome? And is he willing to crash?
      Joel Bilodeau
      • 3 Years Ago
      if Flavio was still running the show **** like this would not happen...
      Rich M.
      • 3 Years Ago
      as much as i want bruno to succeed cause of his last name. i don't think he has what it takes to be a top tier F1 driver, and we can't use HRT as an excuse because if he had "it" other teams would notice and ask him to test. when drivers are asked to test cars the teams are not just looking to see if he can drive but how he communicates during testing. what makes the lewis, the vettels and the alonso a few ticks quicker than their teamates is how they communicate with their engineers. bruno can probably drive but can't relay info as well as other drivers but i highly doubt it. if he had "it" other teams would be calling for a drive.
      Viny do Carmo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ayrton said once that "if we thought that he was good, we should wait and see his nephew". We are still waiting Bruno...
      Filipp Gorelik
      • 3 Years Ago
      Heidfeld, as a much more experienced driver, was barely ahead of the second-year Petrov. Good to see young talent take over for him. Bruno has got what probably is his last chance to shine - hopefully he takes advantage.
      3waygeek
      • 3 Years Ago
      The BBC reports that Heidfeld has been dropped, and that Senna will race at least the next two rounds (Spa & Monza). Renault intends to keep Senna for the rest of the season, pending the resolution of unspecified "legal issues". http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/formula_one/14658066.stm
      Santi Hossni
      • 3 Years Ago
      He has that same determined look in his eyes.. he's going for the win this sunday. C'mon Bruno!
      Tim Gorveatt
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bruno has massive shoes to fill. I doubt he'll ever live up to the legendary status of his uncle though
      Lillee
      • 3 Years Ago
      The helmet colours alone stirs up my emotions...
      razrrick13
      • 3 Years Ago
      They always called him "quick nick." That thing is, if you want to win a GP or get in a great car you gotta be FAST. Anyways nice to see some new blood in a points car.
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