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Count your blessings // Bruno Senna settles in at Williams for the 2012 season

Published by Christine

Bruno Senna settles in at Williams for the 2012 season
Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic

Bruno Senna is celebrating being selected selected to partner Pastor Maldonado at Williams for the 2012 season. The Brazilian driver made his F1 debut in 2010 driving for the HRT team, and secured half a season's drive for Renault last year, before returning full time for 2012.

The signing brings him to the team that his uncle, Ayrton Senna, drove for in 1994, but Bruno says the family are supportive of his decision to drive for them: "Everybody is ecstatic; I spoke to my grandparents before I spoke to my mother. My grandmother was so happy, and my grandfather had a great laugh. In the family everyone is smiling, everyone has worked hard for it, and it is a family business. We have a great unity and everyone is super happy."

Meanwhile, Williams can be grateful for the added income that Bruno's sponsors will bring them, but the team are keen to point out that the signing is not just about the money. Chief Operations Engineer, Mark Gillan, spoke of the testing programme they put hopeful drivers through.

"From our side we had an extensive driver evaluation programme with a handful of drivers, and we made the final decision based on raw pace, consistency, tyre management, technical feedback and mental capacity - and most importantly the potential impact they would have on the team. I think in all those areas it was very clear that Bruno has not had a lot of experience in single seater racing, but has consistently shown improvement and real talent."

This announcement leaves former Williams driver Rubens Barrichello without a seat for 2012, with just one drive at HRT remaining open. The veteran driver took to Twitter to say: "I won't be driving the Williams car this year. I wish my friend @BSenna all the best... the future is wide open."