The Formula One aspirants - Bruno Senna
For the drivers in the 2008 GP2 Series, the immediate goal is this year’s championship. Beyond that, however, they invariably have their sites set on the highest rung of the motorsport ladder, Formula One.
At each of the European GP2 rounds - they support the Formula One Grands Prix - a 2008 finalist in Bridgestone’s e-reporter competition will be bringing us the lowdown on one of the F1 hopefuls. In Spain, Gavin Grace caught up with Bruno Senna…
For many, the sight of GP2 driver Bruno Senna’s familiar yellow, blue and green helmet evokes memories of a classic era of motorsport. In 1993, his uncle Ayrton told the world, ‘If you think I'm good, just wait until you see my nephew.’ This coming when Bruno was just nine years old!
Senna, now 24, is unique to the GP2 grid in the pressure that he must live up to. The Senna name is famous across the world, even outside of motorsport circles. There is a chance that it could return to Formula One racing in the future, but first Bruno must prove himself against the other F1 hopefuls in GP2. The ingredients of success are all there. His iSport International team won both the team and driver titles last year, and Bruno has a full year’s experience after racing with Arden in 2007. So will 2008 be his year?
The championship is his aim. “I want to be in F1 in 2009 or 2010. I am fast enough, and this season I want to prove this. This is the year when I’ll have my best opportunity to achieve great results.” Barcelona should also have been a good place to start for Senna, the Brazilian having won the main race here last year. However, he reckons that this is of no help to him in 2008. “This is a new car. It’s more physical and amazing at high speed. Totally different to last year.”
All in all, the first GP2 Series weekend of the season went well for Senna. A gearbox problem cost him a shot at pole on Friday, but he turned fourth on the grid into second in the Saturday race. He then raced into fourth in Sunday’s sprint race by avoiding trouble. His 11 point weekend haul leaves him at the head of the table along with Alvaro Parente. He regards it as a solid effort.
“Overall the weekend was good. I am happy to be near the top. The new car works well and has a lot of downforce. The team have done a good job in pre-season testing.”
This Thursday, May 1, marks the 14th anniversary of the death of Ayrton Senna. There is a memorial to him at the Circuit du Catalunya at the entrance to the GP2 paddock, acting as a poignant reminder of the loss suffered by the sport on that dark day in 1994. However, if Bruno gets his way, then it may not be long until the Senna name and that evocative helmet are once again seen in Formula One racing.