Bruno Senna, more than just a 'pay driver'
I would like to explore with you all a topic which you'll notice I have briefly touched upon in previous posts. That is the potential of Bruno Senna. Now with all the buzz and speculation surrounding the top three teams, I find that the more interesting battles will be fought between the back markers and middle field.
I may live to regret this, however I will take the risk and stick my neck out by declaring that if you're a betting man, take a closer look at what’s on offer for Williams and in particular, Senna. Clearly a challenge with the likes of MacLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari is out of the question, well if fortunes don’t improve for the latter, who can honestly guess. After all, there’s only so much Mass and Fernando can do with an ailing car. But I do believe that they can certainly improve on last seasons results and lead a charge for some serious improvement on race reliability and position.
The reasons behind this supposedly outlandish statement lies firmly on the shoulders of one man - Senna.
Coupled with the shift in focus for the team and it’s staffing reshuffle, I believe all roads are slowly intertwining and leading to one – victory. Ok, maybe we will not see this in 2012 but we should certainly see a jolly good fight.
I believe the mindset a driver has is one of the single most important attributes. The willingness to believe in themselves, the team and car even though there may be struggles. If we look over the history of the sport, it's incredible to see what can and has been achieved from a simple belief.
Let us not easily forget that this is a driver who after a ten year absence has returned and in his few short years has managed to surpass the achievements of drivers with the advantage of that ten year period. There are a number of drivers on the grid this season who stand to take a hammering from critics and pundits alike if they fail to achieve the dizzy heights of their expectations. Lying beside Sebastian, Kimmi, Webber and Massa is Bruno, right in the firing line and already being labelled a ‘pay driver’. Perhaps he was seen as that by Williams, it’s no secret that the team is in dire need of a cash injection to rejuvenate it’s race pace and upgrade package but they must have seen something else. Something which added another level, to take such a seeming risk on coupling a more inexperienced driver with the already race pace lacking Maldonado, although notably he has shone in many qualifying situations mid season but was unable to translate into a race position.
There is no doubt that Senna will push as hard as the car will go, this is the opportunity he has been wetting his appetite for and he will not likely let it slip between his fingers without a fight. It may be that if he does falter, such an opportunity may bypass him again.
If we take a look at the mileage the FW34 has endured over the course of testing, we can see that the team are clearly taking the lack of experience seriously and taking full advantage of testing with attempts to reduce this margin on the other drivers by completing 1163 laps in total covering a distance of 5,329.55km. 76 laps more than the F2012, in other words pretty much another GP.
According to sources at Williams, Senna ’s initial blistering lap succession in Jerez was halted only by the ending of test day and that both he and the car were in excellent shape to continue.
“We had a productive morning completing a number of tyre tests and aero runs. It has been interesting to see the car developing. Overall we’ve had a good few days of running here in Barcelona. We are still improving, but I feel we are in a solid position to go to Australia.”
– Bruno Senna
“I just want to get the maximum possible out of the car”
As a supporter of the under dog I will be glad to see Senna put a gag on the critics whom some of which can be accused of being critical in a rather insensitive manner. No one can avoid the fact that he is and always will be the nephew of Aryton Senna but hopefully as the season commences we can begin to see past that and realise that he is not only a man in his own right but a racer in his own right and should as such be recognised as this. He deserves the same respect adorned to the rest of the grid, perhaps it ’s about time we began to show it for one of the nicest and approachable personalities in the field.
How do you think Bruno will fare in 2012? I have a feeling that you will find him snapping at the heels of the likes of the front runners. If not by the end of this season then in certainly in 2013.