Senna: What Does The Future Hold?
The name that captivated a nation, and the sporting world surely needs no introduction.
That legendary spirit lives on in 25 year old Bruno, nephew of Formula One master Ayrton. Already proven & multifaceted, one can only wonder when his time in an F1 seat will come.
Winner in British F3, Winner & vice champion in European GP2, F1 seemed the next logical step for Senna. His chance was thought to have arrived this year, after testing with Honda in 2008, he was rumored to replace fellow Brazilian Rubens Barrichello as second driver to Jenson Button in the 2009 Honda lineup.
The toll of the global financial crisis caused the withdrawal of Honda from Formula One in 2009, and Senna's ride evaporated with the factory squad.
After news surfaced that Senna had tested with Mercedes in the German DTM series, it was believed that he would run the 2009 season. Senna declined the offer from gracious Mercedes Benz, citing his desire to focus wholly on obtaining a Formula One drive.
In spite of yet more rumors he might replace Toro Rosso driver Sebastian Bourdais midway through the 2009 F1 season, Bruno signed with Team Oreca Matmut to compete in the 2009 European Le Mans Series.
He saw success in his first outing, scoring an LMP1 & overall podium finish with co-driver Stephane Ortelli at the 1000km of Catalunya. At the following Spa 1000km, he suffered a frightening high speed impact with the wall, causing heavy damage to the chassis of the brand new Oreca 01.
The car was rebuilt in time for the 2009 24 hours of Le Mans, but the decision was made to retire the car after two seperate incidents. It completed just 219 laps to finish 41st.
2010 presents a myriad of F1 opportunities, as Senna is being watched by Force India owner Vijay Mallya to replace Giancarlo Fisichella, and is also in talks with at least one other team.
When spoken to earlier this month, he admits that while this may not be the best of times to be vying for an F1 seat, he is confident he will find a Formula One drive in 2010. With contracts expiring and rumors swirling, it will be interesting to see how things resolve for the young Brazilian, but I think most of us hope his time comes soon, as we just want to see him drive.
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