Q & A with Bruno Senna
|By Pablo Elizalde||Tuesday, November 18th 2008, 11:18 GMT|
Q. Was the day as you expected it to be?
Bruno Senna: Yes, it was actually great fun. I was really enjoying myself out there. It's such a different experience to everything I've done before. I think it's quite a special opportunity that Honda gave me. I was really, really enjoying myself. The car is such a step up from GP2. It has much better gear shift, much better engine, much better aerodynamics.
It's very hard to explain why it takes some time for a driver to adapt, but all the references you had from the others things you've done you have to step them up in a big way. And also what you expect from the car is also very different. So today was quite a good day because I had not much pressure to perform.
The team asked me to get involved with the car and go through a nice programme, so that's what I did. I got comfortable with the car. For sure it was quite a good experience and by the end I was feeling much more comfortable. It's hard work but it's very special.
Q. What was the programme you had for the day?
BS: The programme was first to get used to the electronics of the car. There are many switches on the car and I need to understand how to work them. I found it to be quite easy, quite straightforward.
Also to understand the new aero package of the car for next year. So we are working on downforce levels and on the balance of the car. And obviously to understand how slick tyres work.
Q. So the car is a mix of 2008 and 2009?
BS: It doesn't have the wings of the 2009 car and obviously the chassis and all these things. But they are trying to simulate the downforce levels and balance, so they can get some numbers for the new developments. And then try to coordinate the numbers with the wind tunnel and everything.
Q. In the end you put on some good laptimes..
BS: Yeah, towards the end I was feeling a lot more comfortable. Before that I only had a set of tyres that were not so good. I had badly worn front tyres so I was struggling to find the right grip and the right balance. But with that last set I could actually work the tyres properly as they were in a decent condition when I started with them.
And I was pushing harder and harder every lap and finding the time. Eventually I made one or two mistakes because I was trying to find the limits. But really, for the first time I drove the car I think it was pretty decent.
Q. How do you feel physically?
BS: It was pretty easy. I think the downforce levels that we are running made the car not such a step up in terms of high speed to the GP2 car. But for sure as the car develops it's going to much, much harder so for sure training will be even more important.
Q. What do you expect to achieve from this test? A seat for next year?
BS: Obviously, yeah. But you cannot expect a driver who is fully new to a Formula One car to go out and do magic. So today the team wanted me to get comfortable with the car. There are quite a few things that you can actually adjust for yourself when you get into a new car.
The seat, for example, is not perfect and we still need to work on that. Now we know what we need and I'm going to work on that so on Wednesday I have the opportunity to push a bit harder and find the limits.
Q. What was your feeling when you came out of the pits for the first time?
BS: It has been two months since I've driven a single-seater or any race car, so the first time out it was a bit overwhelming with all the functions and the power and everything. And I hadn't driven a car with tyre warmers so I didn't know what type of grip to expect. It was all new information so I tried to take it in as quickly as I could.
It was very good to go out. It was a very strange feeling to drive around with F1 cars around me and also to see F1 cars with so many types of different wings and slicks tyres. When I saw the Ferrari I thought it was a GP2 car painted red so that was very different.
It's the first test so there is a long way to go still. But if I can be successful in Formula One is going to be very special for me, for sure.
Q. Does it add pressure that fact that you have the Senna name and that Ayrton had such a great career?
BS: It doesn't. It's my own career. I'm doing my own job and no one expects me to be Ayrton. I'm Bruno and that's my career and that's how I treat it.