Well, that’s it, the rumours everyone had heard something about have finally been confirmed by The Williams Team. Bruno Senna has been selected as occupier of the second Williams seat for 2012. This announcement not only brings about the tide of change for the ailing team but also for the other man considered to have been in contention, Ruben’s Barcichello.
Although many had hoped to see 39-year old Rubens enter a 20th season on the grid, it become less and less likely that would be the case as ‘insiders’ went into overdrive with emerging news of visits to the garage and hushed conversations. It’s a crying shame that a driver of Barichello’s caliber, talent and determination should go to waste. I and a number of others have discussed in recent days that an all Brazilian line up for 2012 would have been the more logical option. Surely the experience Senna could have garnered from Rubens would have proven invaluable to the team to take forward to future successes? I truly believe that Rubens would have relished the opportunity to nurture him as a driver, leaving his lasting legacy on the team. Much in the same way, David Coulthard speared to with his position in Red Bull. I sense that Senna, would have realised the value in such an opportunity and welcomed such guidance.
We have not even surpassed the 24-hour mark for the confirmation and a few fans have been vocal in their distaste over the Senna appointment. It appears that many seem to still believe he only got this appointment based on his sponsorship commitments and surname. I don’t know about you but if someone phoned me up wanting to drive in my car with the equivalent of my lifetimes earnings in the bag, that I had a sneaking suspicion could drive it adequately, my response would simply be ‘How quick can you get here?’ But It is worth noting that the reasoning behind the delay for any official announcement seems to be largely due to the fact that Senna was undergoing some grueling sessions in the simulator in an effort to legitimately challenge his suitability and performance as he acknowledges the concerns over his lack of accurate performance data.
"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.”
– Frank Williams
"The circumstances of Bruno's two seasons in Formula One have not given him an ideal opportunity to deliver consistently” – Frank Williams
“The evaluation process has been intense and methodical, but the time I have spent in the factory has demonstrated the team has great people and all the resources needed to achieve better things this season.”
– Bruno Senna "
"… It was essential we spent as much time with him as possible to understand and evaluate him as a driver.”
– Frank Williams
One thing is for sure, the debate of his suitability for the role will continue to rage as an overwhelming feeling of sadness for Rubens takes hold. A man who has been witness to many drivers fleeting encounters with the world of formula one. He will be greatly missed if unable to occupy the one remaining HRT seat. A truly unfitting end to a glorious career.
With all things of this nature, ultimately the proof is in the pudding. No one will know for sure whether Bruno's appointment will be the catalyst for the resurgence of The Williams Team, or a step on the ladder of their downfall until the season commences. I believe that Williams’s newest recruit is more than capable of rising to the challenge. In doing so he will answer the critics, repeadedly citing him to prove his worth and that the backing is warranted. I’m glad an opportunity has arisen to do so but also greatly saddened a warrior had to suffer in order for it to happen. I hope to hear news in the coming days of the dawn of a new age for Williams and for Rubens. The wheels have been set in motion for Senna who will embark on his new venture from February 9th, when he commences the first set of winter testing. As for Rubens?
No one can say what the future holds but I sincerely hope that it's bright.
C.Street 17/01/12 - Image - courtesy of http://www1.skysports.com/formula-1/news/12476/7441761/Bruno-Senna-Q-A 69 views