Senna: Strong qualifying will decide my future
16 August 2012 – Bruno Senna believes Saturday performances will be the biggest factor in influencing whether or not he will remain at Williams in 2012. With Pastor Maldonado guaranteed to stay, Senna is up against Finnish reserve driver Valtteri Bottas.
Senna signed up with Williams for 2011, switching from Renault after the Enstone team (now Lotus) left him on the sidelines. Last time out in Hungary, the Brazilian secured his sixth points finish of the year after qualifying inside the top ten for the first time with Williams. Although the aforementioned Maldonado has been Williams’ star driver so far, winning in Barcelona, he is yet to score points since the Spanish race.
“The only reason why we scored good points in Hungary is because we qualified well - and we need to keep on doing it,” he tells the AFP news agency. “Everybody needs opportunities to grow up and this is mine. I need an opportunity to grow up and develop with the team. It's probably the hardest season in Formula 1 for who knows how many years…with a tenth of a second you can be five or six positions (further) up.”
The 28-year-old, nephew of late triple World Champion Ayrton, stresses that strong qualifying performances could help to cement his medium-term future in F1.
“In the races, I think I'm doing pretty well,” Senna continues. “As I said, nailing qualifying will be the key to making sure I stay for next year and hopefully the next few years. I have nothing to worry about now. I think we’ve had a strong performance overall and I'm learning, I'm improving and it's going to be a case of chipping away and in the second half of the season; I'll have much more experience and everything helps.”
Senna currently lies 15th in the Drivers’ Championship, five points behind Maldonado. Many insiders believe Bottas will take his position next year, although Senna’s achievements have been particularly impressive when taking into account the fact that the Finn has stepped into the Brazilian’s car for eight of the 11 opening Friday practice sessions. His best race finish to date is sixth in Malaysia.