Senna’s arrival has been welcomed by the renault team, and even at a wet-but-drying Spa (Belo W rIGHT) he soon saw his name in the top third of the field. (rIGHT) The man he replaced, Nick Heidfeld, didn’t look like the driver he once was, although not all his problems were of his own making!
“I was surprised by how strong he was
so soon in qualifying,” says Boullier. “At
Spa, he had the rain, but then he got
into the Q3 session at Monza, and did
that again in Suzuka even after a crash
on Saturday morning.
“He did very well in GP2 and he is a
racing driver called Bruno, not Ayrton.
He has shown the whole paddock that he
is a racing driver in his own right and he
will do better and better.”
do. He could take a few more risks and if he spins every now
and then, that’s what he needs to do to find the limit. But
technically he’s very good. He’s getting to know the tires and
how they react in the race as well.”
So what’s the bottom line? Senna is a rapid driver and he’s
also intelligent, which explains his improving technical skills.
Already 28, there are question marks over his ultimate potential,
but if he continues progressing, by the start of 2012 he could be
established as a very capable F1 driver – provided, of course, he
has a drive. With Kubica attempting a comeback, it’s far from
certain there will be another chance for Senna at Renault.
There is little to suggest that Bruno
will join his uncle in the ranks of the
champions, but there’s nothing to stop
him evolving into a race winner. That
said, he is still on a steep part of the
learning curve so we’ve yet to see where
it will level off. But one thing is for sure.
He’s well on the way to shedding the
baggage of that surname. Don’t think of
him as the nephew of Ayrton. Think of
him simply as Bruno Senna, F1 driver.
“He has shown he’s
a racing driver in his
own right, and he’ll
do better and better”
KUBICA’S HARD COMEBACK
Is the Polish ace on the road to a full recovery?
ERIC BOULLIER, RENAULT
In raw performance terms, it’s
difficult to argue that Senna’s two points
in five races might have eclipsed what
Heidfeld would have done. But you
cannot expect an inexperienced driver to
be the complete package straight out of
the box while there’s no testing in
modern F1, and his performances suggest
he has the potential to operate at a
higher level than Petrov.
“When the pressure is on, he seems to
be able to deliver,” says Renault’s track
operations director Alan Permane. “If
there’s one criticism to make – and it’s
not a big one – it’s that he’s a little bit too
steady. The way he was brought up in F1
[with HRT] was that crashing is
something that you absolutely must not
It was a small error with
overcooked it in a right-hand
kink while competing in the
Ronde di Andorra Rally on the
morning of Sunday, Feb. 6.
The Skoda Fabia struck the
guardrail but one section of
barrier didn’t hold firm and was
pushed back as the car scraped
along it, exposing the leading
edge of the next section. Its
leading edge scythed through
the engine bay and bulkhead and
ended up in the trunk section of
Kubica’s right side was in its
path and he was left with
multiple fractures in his leg, arm
and elbow. Blood loss was
significant, his right hand was
The Pole could pound around
in that car for as long as it takes
to prepare for the first pre-
season test at Jerez on Feb. 7