One of the last, however, has now been answered as the Williams team announces the signing of one Bruno Senna. If the name rings a bell, it well should: His late, great uncle Ayrton once famously hinted at his nephew's latent talents. However after a promising start in Formula 3 and GP2, Bruno hasn't quite been able to shine. He started out in 2010 for the backmarker Hispania Racing Team, but after failing to secure a ride for the start of the following season, was brought in by Lotus-Renault to fill in for Nick Heidfeld, who in turn was filling in for Robert Kubica.
Bruno only managed a couple of championship points last season at Lotus, which opted to pass him over in favor of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean. Williams, however, apparently feels that Senna's got more talent than he's been able to demonstrate, so they've signed him for a one-year contract to drive for the team this coming season.
In moving in at Williams – the team at which Ayrton Senna famously died in 1994 – Bruno replaces fellow Brazilian driver Rubens Barrichello, one of the last drivers still on the grid who raced with Ayrton back in the day. Where that leaves Rubens remains to be seen, but with only a solitary seat left at HRT for next season, the elder statesman of the paddock could be looking at forced retirement.
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."