Senna: An Old Name, but a New Face

Bruno Senna in his GP2 days.

Bruno Senna has signed a deal with Formula 1 new boys, Campos-Meta, for the 2010 season. Bruno, who is the nephew of three-time Formula 1 World Champion Ayrton Senna, has had success in a number of junior categories; despite having not run in the many Karting Championships that his peers competed in.
Although he had began to race Karts at a young age, his family forbade the youngster from racing when Ayrton was killed at Imola in 1994; however having driven his uncle’s 1986 Lotus charger some years ago, Bruno decided to take up motor-racing once more and jumped straight into the Formula BMW series in the UK.

Seasons in Formula 3 and GP2 followed and although the young Senna did not score any Championship victories, he did many to win races on a number of occasions – finishing 3rd in the 2006 British Formula 3 series and 2nd in the 2008 GP2 Championship.

Still prone to mistakes from time-to-time, Bruno has shown a prowess in wet conditions that his famous uncle regularly displayed having taken dominant victories in dreadful weather at both Oulton Park and Mugello.
Senna just lost the 2008 GP2 Championship to ex-Formula 1 veteran Giorgio Pantano, he took three wins along the way, but his stint in GP2 in mainly remembered for when he hit a stray dog at 170mph during the Sprint Race at Istanbul Park.

Following his second season in the junior series, there were rumours that the young Senna was to replace Rubens Barrichello at Honda for the 2009 Formula 1 season; however those plans were scuppered when the Japanese manufacturer pulled out of the series last December.
When Bruno lines up on the grid at Bahrain in March, he will join the list of famous (and not so famous) drivers that have had sons or nephews race in F1; such as Hill, Villeneuve, Fittipaldi, Andretti, Nakajima and Rosberg. Whether he will success as Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve and Nico Rosberg have or whether he disappear like Christian Fittipaldi and Michael Andretti (and like Kazuki Nakajima soon will) is entirely up to him, but one thing is for certain – the name Senna will create a pressure that may be difficult to live up to.

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