Bruno Senna was, up until very recently, strongly linked with a drive for the Honda team in 2009, having tested for the squad back in November following the close of the 2008 world championship. Senna, who has driven well in GP2 and is considered a talent to watch out for in the future, was suggested as being Jenson Button’s team mate for 2009, but then it all went wrong. Honda withdrew, Barrichello went into hiding for a while, things started to move forward, Senna was considered to have the drive thanks to financial backing, and then Barrichello says he’s close to a deal.
For the team formerly known as Honda, having Rubens Barrichello in the second car is a no-brainer. Rubens may not be the greatest racer to have driven a Formula One car, but his experience is second to none – literally – and he will be able to provide stability in an area where the team will require it. Having two wise heads in the cars will enable the team to transfer to new owners who will be given the time to concentrate on ensuring it is stable and can move forward into the future. It really is a wise move for Honda, at least for 2009.
However, Bruno Senna doesn’t seem to agree and has spoken to Brazilian journal Agencia Estadao about his disappointment in the team’s decision. Senna may have every right to be disappointed, but like some of his contemporaries, the image he has presented to the world, both today and in the recent past, is one of petulance and spoilt-ness.
I’m kind of resigned to trying something else. I had a meeting today [Monday] with Ross Brawn and he cancelled.
I’m just a little upset because this situation has dragged on for so long, making me lose better professional possibilities.
Now I’m going to get together with my family, with my advisors, and decide what way to take.
Anything that I may do will be step backwards. The important thing is to keep Formula One as the top priority. I will bounce back. Bruno Senna.
No one made Senna lose these opportunities, as far as we are aware. And as for “stepping backwards”? Well, excuse me for pointing out the obvious, and again as far as we are aware, Bruno was never there to begin with. Close, maybe, but not actually there. Had a contract been signed, it would be a different story and one for the legal professionals to take up. But as a general view, Senna comes across as a spoiled child who didn’t get his sweeties this time.
The situation Bruno is in has occurred because the young driver was pinning his hopes on a drive with Honda for 2009. So much so in fact, Senna has spoken in the past and present of turning down other opportunities because Formula One was beckoning. However, with the withdrawal of the team and the ensuing complications of the sale, which is still to be confirmed, Senna remained loyal to a cause that as far as we know, made no official intentions of signing him.
With no apparent back-up for a race seat in 2009, Bruno is in a bit of a quandary. It will probably be relatively easy for the Brazilian to get a drive somewhere, but clearly Senna wants Formula One. It seems as though Bruno believes that he is ready for Formula One, and at a time when he is unemployed, made a statement to the media that anything he does in 2009 will be a step back if it isn’t in F1.
I can think of better ways to approach the situation.
Of course, Senna may have been given the intent of a drive in whatever comes of Honda in 2009, and therefore the 2008 GP2 Runner Up does have a right to be upset. But with the team in such disarray, with no firm future set out, the actions of Senna to apparently dismiss other options seems a little misguided. Assuming Bruno finds a seat somewhere for this season of racing, it will do him some good. Bruno is somebody to watch out for in the future, but right now, it is my belief that another year or two in lower formulae can only help.
Image © HondaF1.