Q & A with Bruno Senna

Bruno Senna had a few scares in the last few weeks as Campos was restructured as Hispania, but despite briefly fearing he was about to lose his Formula 1 seat, the team was saved and he will make his grand prix debut this weekend

Q & A with Bruno Senna

AUTOSPORT was there to hear Senna's thoughts on the task ahead and the last few nervous months as the Brazilian met reporters in the Bahrain paddock today.

Q. Now you're here and it's all happening, what are the emotions?

Bruno Senna: It's a great feeling. I travelled to Bahrain on Monday - then you actually get the feeling that it is actually starting to happen. Before that, I was careful about how much I expected, how much I believed because I knew that it wasn't going to be super easy.

So it's quite a nice feeling to be here, in this paddock right now, and I hope we can get everything together ready for the race weekend and working a little bit on the good side because everything we have been working on and seeing and hearing has been on the business side and the political side and not on the sporting side, which is the one I really like.

Q. Were there any moments in the last few weeks where you thought the team wasn't going to happen?

BS: Yes, absolutely, just before Colin [Kolles] took the team over, I was very low on expectation that the team was going to happen because we had spent so much time trying to be sold, trying to be bailed and this and that. And they did a really good job considering the timetable they had. The team, Colin and everyone that came in and everybody that was there, worked 24/8 - they made an extra day in the week to manage to get the car here. And they are still going flat out, so the hard times are not over.

Q. So when did you get the final call or email that said it's happening, you're there, it's 100 per cent for Bahrain?

BS: We only knew we were going to Bahrain on Saturday when the car was loaded with half an hour to spare, so I guess we never got that phone call. So our tickets were booked last week and hotels were booked, so it was all last-minute and only really came together last week.

Q. Are you confident the budget is there to go through the whole season?

BS: Well, we're working on that as well. I think since the start of last year when we signed a deal we were chasing after sponsors and for one reason or another it didn't happen. Now, the team is there so the sponsors are much more confident, and we have been able to raise some sponsorship, so now we have to keep on working. We believe that the team has also more funding to come from investors. So we're able to start the season in this way, and how we are going to continue in terms of development we will have to wait and see because it does cost money and not a little.

Q. What sort of preparations have you been able to do?

BS: I had a lot of free time to go fitness training so I'm very fit but not obviously fit in a race car. So I was able to go karting a few days ago and I got all my muscles sore and back into shape again, and that's better than going to the gym or on the bike, and my neck machine. I have a neck machine from Technogym and it works my neck very hard, so in terms of fitness it's all good. I posted on Twitter my video on the bike, so I had to do some multi-tasking as well - everything I could do I did in terms of preparation, but the real preparation is only in a race car and that is coming in the next few days.

Q. What sort of weekend are you expecting? The car's not had a shakedown, just getting laps will be a big achievement.

BS: I think the plan is now on Friday to go out, do a shakedown, do an installation lap, come back in, see if nothing's catching on fire, see if there are no leaks, send the other car, and do these things a few times - check the electronics. So for sure the first one and a half hours will be quite calm - we'll be just doing small runs, checking everything. Then we have to do all the things the other teams did in many days in just a few hours, which has been the case anyway.

Q. What do you say to other drivers that say this guy has had it easy because his name is Senna?

BS: I heard it in the beginning but I think as I went through the different championships the drivers did respect me. I think that when you grow up a little bit people respect you a bit more. So I had the respect from the drivers, and tried to give as much respect as I could.

Q: When you said before that you are treating this weekend a bit like a testing session, what do you say to other drivers worried that you are going to be like a mobile chicane?

BS: I can't worry about that because the odds are that we are going to be slower than the pace of the guys in front, which is pretty certain, but we need to do what we can do. We can't just be worried about what other people are thinking about, considering that these are the conditions we are presented with. And I think that just being here is a victory for us, so we are going to do the best we can. For sure, if we have problems, if we cause problems, it's not going to be on purpose, so it's the conditions that we have to deal with. I don't think we are going to be the only team that are off the pace, anyway.

Q. What does it mean in terms of safety, because obviously it's a safety consideration when you have a car that's six or seven seconds slower than another one?

BS: This is not too hard to deal with. I mean, I've been racing in the Le Mans Series with cars that are two seconds to twenty seconds a lap quicker. It's perfectly possible to be with traffic if you are in a faster car. The only thing you need is for the drivers all to respect each other and for sure this will come up in the drivers' briefing tomorrow and we will have to just discuss it. It's not a problem,

Q. You think that all the other drivers are okay with it?

BS: I don't think they are okay, I'm pretty sure the drivers in the faster cars are going to be pissed off when they see a driver with a slower time in front of them. People have to remember that they might not always be in the position they are now. They might sometimes not be overtaking, they might be being overtaken, so as I said it's a question of respect and of people giving way to each other.

Q. A couple of guys at Lotus have won a race; the guy who was on pole here last year...

BS: Precisely. Exactly, it's how it goes. It goes up and down and as I said, we just need to look in our mirrors a bit more.

Q. Do you think you'll enjoy this weekend?

BS: I am enjoying it already! It's the start of a dream come true for me. I have had a pretty tough year so far, starting from the end of 2008 all the way to this year, where things have got there only to be taken away.

It was starting to go that way this year, and it was hard to accept because it's one thing when you do something wrong and things go wrong - if I am not quick enough, if I make a mistake on the track - I lost my chance. It's another thing when everything is outside your control and it veers off in a direction that you just can't recover. I'm very glad to be here and very thankful to be here.

shares
comments
Assessing the chances of F1's new teams

Previous article

Assessing the chances of F1's new teams

Next article

Senna: Speed differences not a problem

Senna: Speed differences not a problem
Load comments
The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1 Plus

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1

Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing was briefly one of the biggest names on the US motorsports scene, but its ambition outstripped its resources. STUART CODLING relates the story of a Formula 1 campaign cut off in its prime

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021