Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

First 2010 driver change - Yamamoto in for Senna - HRT make a switch for at least one race this year

Published by Christine

Sakon Yamamoto readies himself for qualifying in the GP2 Asia Series, 2008.
Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service

About ten hours ago, I wrote a quick post pondering the possibility of something big happening at Silverstone. Whilst this is admittedly not of epic proportions, the replacement of Bruno Senna for the British GP has certainly come as a surprise to pretty much everyone. How has it come about? And why is it always Yamamoto ready to step in?

Just after office hours finished in the UK, Joe Saward blogged the brief but breaking news, that Senna was out of his seat at HRT, and that Sakon Yamamoto will be replacing him for one race at least. Confirmations were soon forthcoming, and Hispania chief Colin Kolles told the BBC:

A decision as to who will drive for Hispania for the rest of the season will be taken over the weekend

- Colin Kolles

No one seems to know why this move has occurred, though, and why so suddenly. If the drive is Yamamoto's for the forseeable future, then you would have to guess that money has something to do with it. But why have the team waited until the eve of the race weekend to make this change? Surely the night before Free Practice is not a great time to be switching your drivers?

I feel incredibly sorry for Bruno in this instance, not only because he has always come across as a really likeable driver and interacted well with the fans, but also because he doesn't seem to have been kept informed about what was going on. Two hours ago, he was tweeting about his preparations for the race:

Cycled round new-look track with Karun yesterday. Changes look pretty good

bsenna bsenna

It all seems so very sudden. I am doubly mad firstly because I didn't know I cared this much about Senna until he is now gone, and secondly, because Yamamoto was also the driver who replaced the outgoing Franck Montagny at Super Aguri. Franck went on to bigger and better things, but what does the future hold for Senna?

Update: HRT confirmed on Friday that Senna was still part of their batch of drivers and would be out on track for them in the future. It still seems odd to me, but here's the statement:

In respect to the rumours about Bruno Senna's current status with Hispania Racing, HRT F1 Team, the team wants to confirm that Bruno Senna has all the support of the Spanish team, that he remains one of the Hispania Racing, HRT F1 Team official drivers and that he will be continuing to drive in the remaining races of the 2010 Formula 1 world championship.

- HRT Press Office