Bruno Senna, Williams, Monaco, 2012

Williams: Senna “must respond” after Maldonado win

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Bruno Senna, Williams, Monaco, 2012In the round-up: Frank Williams says Bruno Senna needs to raise his game following Pastor Maldonado’s win in the Spanish Grand Prix.

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Join us for live comments during today’s GP2 and GP3 races here:


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Formula One: driving sideways at 140mph still gets Frank Williams going (The Telegraph)

“Now Bruno [Senna] must respond. Maldo?s win will give him a kick up the backside. Which he needs. We?ll see. Everyone is saying Maldo is magic around Monte Carlo and to some extent he is. But it is by no means a given.”

Q&A with Williams? Pastor Maldonado (F1)

“Sometimes, some comments really got to me. But at the same time I knew better and was sure that by giving my best I would prove all the false comments were wrong. I knew it would just be a matter of time. Good results – and winning – are the best way to stop such nonsense. I never felt that I was paying to race. It?s a natural process. A GP2 champion should advance to Formula One – Nico Rosberg did, Nico Hulkenberg did and I did.”

McLaren to offer Hamilton a new ??20m deal (The Telegraph)

“XIX Entertainment, Hamilton?s management company, is keen for greater freedom to be inserted into any new contract which would allow him to promote his own brands or pursue his own projects.”

FIA Showdown Over F1 Float (Sky)

“The FIA, which is run by the former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt, is also understood to have tabled a list of other demands from CVC and Ecclestone during their discussions.”

Monaco GP – Conference 2 (FIA)

Ross Brawn: “I think it would be a mistake to delay the engines again. If you recall, we?ve already delayed them one year and we?ve had to re… in fact we?ve changed them from a four cylinder to a six cylinder and then we delayed them a year. Every change actually costs a lot of money for the people investing in new engines.”

Mercedes in ‘delicate discussions’ over F1 future, says Ross Brawn (The Guardian)

Ross Brawn: “We are very proud of our history and our heritage and we feel its important to the sport. People have different opinions on that. But it’s all part of the delicate discussions that are going on. It is still I’m afraid something we can’t comment on. So I can’t really add anything to what we’ve said previously.”

Lotus the team to beat, says Button (Reuters)

“The cars that looked very fast for me were the Lotuses. Their runs whenever they are out look very competitive, so I’d say the Lotus is the car to beat so far this weekend.”

Grosjean: I’d love to surprise (Sky)

“Let’s see Sunday. It’s would be nice. I would love to be the surprise here but step-by-step. I think free practice went pretty well, let’s see how qualifying goes and then the race.”

Jean-Pierre Beltoise ?ǣ “If Romain Grosjean wins the Monaco Grand Prix, I?ll be absolutely delighted!” (Lotus)

“At one moment the visibility was so bad on the Gazometre straight ?ǣ the Swimming Pool Esses didn?t exist at the time – and it was the quickest part of the circuit that I had to base myself on the proximity of the guardrail on the left and on the right. When I managed to make out something I braked with 10,700 rpm on the rev counter and when I saw nothing I lifted off at 10,200 rpm.”

Webber fears pole out of reach for RBR (Autosport)

“It was not easy for us. We have got some work to do in the next 24 hours. There are clearly some very quick cars and we have to improve our car.”

Monaco The Ultimate Paradox (Speed)

“Only recently have teams been given the luxury of pit garages in which to work. During my time in the pit lane, we worked in the open, and there were no garages but merely small pit boxes in which to store tires and tools, but there was no cover for us or the cars. We worked out in the open, rain or shine, a crude set-up that rendered our technology vulnerable to the eyes of the competition.”

McCombs remains committed to F1 track (My San Antonio)

“McCombs declined to comment when asked if he had bought out Hellmund, an Austin-based promoter and former race car driver who initiated contact with F1 officials five years ago.”

Comment of the day

Damonsmedley reckons Toro Rosso give their drivers more running in wet practice sessions:

One thing I?ve noticed this year is the Toro Rosso guys using practice a lot more than most drivers, particularly when the track is wet.

At the Australian Grand Prix, we walked the track in FP2 and whilst there were several appearances from all the drivers, the only cars that seemed to be continuously on-track (and they stayed there when everyone else was parked in the garage) were the two Toro Rossos.

Why is that? Are the drivers trying to get experience? And if so, why are they the only ones doing it? I noticed it again today when Vergne and Ricciardo were both pumping in laps on the intermediates.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Sumedh!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Jacques Villeneuve won the Spanish Grand Prix 15 years ago today in a race shaped by tyre wear.

The Goodyear runners experienced higher degradation than those on Bridgestones – the latter included Olivier Panis, who rose from 12th to finish second for Prost. Jean Alesi was third for Benetton.

Here’s the beginning of the race:

Image ?? Williams/LAT

Author information

Keith Collantine
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  • 98 comments on “Williams: Senna “must respond” after Maldonado win”

    1. Eleanore (@leucocrystal)
      25th May 2012, 0:07

      It never ceases to amaze me how short and fickle a memory F1 can have. Then again, this is Williams we’re talking about, so I suppose I shouldn’t be all that surprised; they have a pretty harsh history with their drivers.

      Anyway, I’d argue this piece is one of the only fair assessments I’ve seen of Senna’s season thus far.

      1. There are a lot of arguments for and against Bruno. Williams statement is tough, but fair. But to be honest, I am surprised that someone who spent their teens not racing could actually be an F1 driver. Who knows what he would be like if he had the years of racing like the others.

        1. Eleanore (@leucocrystal)
          25th May 2012, 1:23

          I think I’ll always wonder about that, but it’s out of his control and already done, so it is what it is. Considering what a sharp learning curve he’s had, he does have a tendency to be a bit sloppy at times, but I still think he can deliver (and has in the past, despite often being stuck in lousy situations/cars).

          It’s still early in a very unpredictable season, and also too early to tell whether the Williams car is capable of regularly achieving podiums. The field is so tight right now, I’m sure Williams are hoping it’s possible, but it would be unrealistic as of now to assume that one win means they can challenge for a podium at every race. I’m hoping they just continue to steadily develop the car as the year goes on (something Lotus Renault categorically gave up on doing last season, sadly).

        2. DK (@seijakessen)
          25th May 2012, 1:25


          I actually think he might have been near the level Ayrton was had he continued racing instead of sitting out. Of course that’s just my opinion, and not really worth a tin crap since we’ll never actually know. But I’ve pondered it a bit, and feel if his Uncle was right about how he felt about Bruno’s speed, he might have been a special driver. Of course if Ayrton never dies, who knows how much his knowledge could have helped Bruno developing into a driver.

        3. @ivz , Damon Hill ?!

      2. DK (@seijakessen)
        25th May 2012, 1:22


        Thanks for that link.

        I actually like Bruno a lot, and feel he is getting shafted to a degree by Williams. Until Spain, he was consistently out-performing Maldonado.

        I can’t actually figure out where the dislike for Bruno comes from. Is it because people feel like he is piggybacking off his late Uncle Ayrton to get to F1? Not sure why that should matter since there have been quite a few drivers in F1 who have used their relative’s name to pave the road to F1.

        What astounds me is Bruno has only raced for the last 8 years, and he got to F1. Yes having the sponsors helps immensely, but consider how incredible an achievement this really is. Everyone else on the grid spent their entire life racing, and here you have Bruno who did not race for 10 years, yet improbably got to the starting grid.

        The one thing I think might help Bruno is if he could figure out how to consistently get into Q2, and challenge seriously for Q3 or even get into Q3. But I’m not sure if he is ever going to be capable of pulling out some great qualifying sessions or not. I was highly impressed with his drive in Malaysia though…thought he drove fantastically, but no one seemed to notice.

        1. Eleanore (@leucocrystal)
          25th May 2012, 1:34

          I have a feeling just about any driver in the past that’s shared a name with a famous driver that came before them has dealt with what Bruno does now, at least to some degree, but in this case, obviously Ayrton is widely regarded as one of the all-time greats, so that makes it significantly more pronounced. Thing is, from what I’ve seen (and I’ve followed his career since his F3 days), his name rarely does him any favors when it comes to securing or keeping a drive; he’s usually passed up for more experienced drivers. Sponsorship, yes. The name definitely helps there, and obviously these days, the more solid sponsors you have with you, the better your chances at a drive. But he’s been praised for years now on his degree of technical feedback, despite his relative lack of development years in comparison to the rest of the field. Not driving at all from age 10 to 21 is a massive development gap.

          I’ve also been impressed at what he’s accomplished in only 8 years, and I’m glad to see I’m not completely alone in that (though it often feels that way). I agree with you re: qualifying, though. He’s had some great qualifying runs in the past, but it’s overall still his weakest and least consistent area, so I really hope to see him tighten that up this year. The drive in Malaysia was a great one; he really does seem to come alive in the wet. I haven’t seen this confirmed yet, as it was so difficult to keep track of where everyone was in FP2 this morning and who was running which tires, but I’m pretty sure Bruno was quickest, or very close to it, on the Inters, which is promising. If things don’t get too insane during quali, he might be able to pull a good lap out.

          1. @leucocrystal No, you’re definitely not alone in that. I will never understand the outsized levels of Bruno hate out there among fans. He has worked his *** off to get where he is now, and the fact that he’s been able to achieve what he has is amazing.

            1. @aka_robyn His name has helped him market himself to teams (and teams want someone marketable as well as someone who is quick), but I think Bruno has shown he has the pace to win races. Not regularly, however, for it’s consistency that he needs to work on.

              And I completely agree about people being unfair to him. In fact, it’s a bit silly that any of us can be so mean to any driver out there.

            2. In fact, it’s a bit silly that any of us can be so mean to any driver out there

              I don’t think that’s fair to say. Most of use who have cricitised Senna have simply evaluated him to the same extent as every other driver, and we’ve concluded that he’s not that good. We don’t believe he deserves special consideration.

        2. I don’t think there is much dislike for Bruno. He seems to be pretty popular among F1F users. 72% thought he would be ahead in the battle between Williams team mates this year. After Malaysia, he got voted the third best driver of the weekend (behind the obvious heroes Alonso and Perez). Some people might believe that Senna is not as good as Maldonado or that Williams would be doing even better now with Bottas and Hulkenberg as their race drivers. But that doesn’t mean that there is a general dislike for Senna.

          Talking about Senna outperforming Maldonado or vice versa, I believe it’s too close to call at the moment. Maldonado clearly outperformed Senna in Australia and Spain, Bruno came out on top in Malaysia, and their performance was pretty equal in China and Bahrain. I personally believe that Pastor has bigger potential but let’s wait and see. It’s clearly nonsensical to talk about the need to replace Senna with some other driver because of Bruno’s performances.

          As for the FP1 sessions, I fully agree with Keith’s opinion.

          1. Eleanore (@leucocrystal)
            25th May 2012, 9:00

            Fair points, though I’d say it depends greatly on where you look. I only participate in a few F1-related communities online; here I’d say is relatively neutral on him, another is quite positive, and another can be horrendously negative (then suspiciously quiet when he does well). I suppose you’d run into that with just about any driver though, if you’re looking out for it. It’s definitely nonsensical to talk about replacing Senna, but it’s not the first time it’s cropped up this season, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Some opinions out there seem to be very easily swayed from one weekend to the next.

            I agree with Keith as well in regard to the FP1 sessions, though I’m positive we won’t see that changed this season; fair or not, Senna signed on to Williams knowing he’d be losing those 15 sessions. It’s a shame, but at this point I just can’t see the team reversing that decision (especially a team like Williams).

      3. I agree completely with that article. Giving Senna an ultimatum is unnecessary and unwarranted.

      4. Yes, lots of nonsense since Maldonado’s win. Like, everyone forgot that prior to Spain Senna was leading him 14-4 on points in the championship

        1. Completely agree. Bruno has put in a few strong points finishes when Maldonado couldn’t. Bruno still has to improve on his single lap pace in quali, which should happen if he doesn’t sit out of FP1 that often.

          I think Maldonado’s performance in Barcelona was a stunner, but to say that he has suddenly put his errors and inconsistency behind him is ridiculous. I think Senna will have his moment to shine as well, and I think if Williams let’s him stay till then end of the season, there is a good chance he gather as many points as his teammate.

          1. For a guy who is 28 and has not had any experience in karting in his teens, and very little experience in junior Formula, I say Senna is rather a very good driver. It amazes me how he is a decent driver on the grid. Some people say he is spoiled because of who his uncle is, I’d say the exact opposite, he has gone through a lot and overcame all the odds that most drivers today would’ve gave up on. Sure, sponsorship money and his surname helped him, but most rich kids that aren’t good drivers don’t score points in F1.

            Bruno started karting at the age of only 5, but when he was 10 his family forced him to quit after Ayrton’s death. Had this not been the case and Bruno raced in his teens, and entered open-wheel racing when he was 16, by around 2005-06 when he was 21-22 years old, he probably would already have been in Formula One. And by today he’d be at least champion. That’s just my opinion.

            1. +1. Spot on

        2. everyone forgot that prior to Spain Senna was leading him 14-4 on points in the championship

          That’s a fair assessment. One that is somewhat let down by the way Senna should have had 28 points prior to Spain, but didn’t because of a string of silly mistakes.

          1. Where were those other 14 points from? And Maldonado crashed out of 6th, so in terms of a Maldonado comparison, Senna still comes of better in the first 4 races.

      5. Oh my loved Brazil, with two drivers under extreme pressure to keep their seats for next season.

        Actually I’m starting to love this recent approach by team managers for being more assertive towards their underperforming drivers instead of that old diplomacy and “the team will help him bla bla bla”. However, I don’t think it’s Senna’s case, on my book he’s leveled with Pastor.

    2. xeroxpt (@)
      25th May 2012, 0:12

      EXPLOSION!!!!!!!!!!it wasnt a big deal after all.

      1. xeroxpt (@)
        25th May 2012, 13:04

        No one read the news about the explosion? Okay….

    3. MSC not colliding with Bruno, and he’ll have a podium next time. Maybe not at Monaco, where his uncle’s reign is undeniable, but till the end of the season. ;)

      1. Your post makes more sense when I read it sarcastically.

    4. Richard Charles
      25th May 2012, 1:13

      Amazing what a random win can do, why don’t Williams give Senna a fair chance instead of keep making him give up 1st practice. Some people won’t like this comment but what could he do when Schumacher drove into him? I know that Senna isn’t setting the world on fire but in fairness Maldonaldo hadn’t done anything until his win. If roles had been reversed in Spain I bet Maldonaldo wouldn’t have been warned to pull his finger out cause of the money he brings. When I say this I’m in no way belittling what Pastor did in Spain cause it was a good drive. Just be nice to see the drivers treated equally.

      1. Yes. Agree with all of that.

    5. @damonsmedley It’s something I’ve noticed at every Grand Prix we’ve been to too. It’s always the STR’s that are practicing. Hoping for another Monza 08 maybe?

    6. Senna is a good driver people hate him for his money or maybe his last name.I will give him a chance Williams are alittle harsh in their comment it was one weekend if it were happening often their performances compared with pastor then yes. But for me he just had a bad weekend and hope that he has a good one in Monaco

      ps: Who going to win this race?

    7. XIX Entertainment, Hamilton’s management company, is keen for greater freedom to be inserted into any new contract which would allow him to promote his own brands or pursue his own projects.

      …perhaps a Hamilton-branded cologne called “Eau de Steward’s Office”?

      1. The seductive scent of stale coffee, danish pastries, sweat and anxiety.

        1. Honestly, that was the first time I’ve ever chuckled aloud at an F1fanatic comment. Well done, @nefor and @hallard

      2. hahah! great!

      3. @hallard
        Haha good one!
        Everytime I see that “Hamilton…..XIX Entertainment” I am just baffeled what the an F1 driver, and one of the best in this day and age is doing with a management company called something that ends on “Entertainment”. To me it does not come across like he is focusing on his actual job of driving cars fast consistently.

        1. Bernie bangs on about the show all the time, of course it’s showbiz so an entertainers management company is entirely appropriate.

        2. But he’s being managed by Didier Coton…

      4. Typical XIX…..

        That’s how they fleece Lewis 10-15% of his income by promising him a Beckhamesque brand building opportunity….to make him a global icon.

        First thing they needed to do was sort out the sulking pre 2012 and hence the happy juice he’s now on. “I’m happy…” is synominous with nearly all interviews Lewis does these days…even after being relegated to the back of the grid.

        This together with the “I like driving in my car” loop played through his helmet headphones whenever he’s at the wheel – is all part of the new improved Brand Lewis!

      5. Brilliant stuff!

    8. Maldonado is the next big thing…until he isn’t. Perez was the next big thing a few races ago.

      1. Eleanore (@leucocrystal)
        25th May 2012, 4:46

        Heh, too true. F1’s memory is extremely short and just as fickle. Always has been, really, but especially these days.

      2. Same thing on my mind. An outstanding performance and he instantly becomes the “next big thing”. Before Spanish GP he was a “paid driver” struggling to beat his team mate and now, they’re trying to make it an Alonso-Massa situation without facts supporting it.


        I don’t think Maldonando has an F1 seat because he brings Venezuelan money, it helped, but he does have the talent to be there.

      3. You could argue that Perez has been the next big thing since his arrival in F1. He has been good as soon as he has stepped in a F1. Maldonado is more of a late bloomer.

        1. I’d say the ’11 williams cancelled out any chance for an ‘early bloomer’..he wasnt shamed by Rubens either

        2. Hard to bloom quickly with last years williams…

    9. Having turned 70 Frank Williams has apparently decided he doesn’t give a rats **** about minding his Ps & Qs anymore, and very refreshing it is too. Both Frank and Ross Brawn made very sensible comments in the FIA press conference, notably, at least in my view about the engines, particularly regarding cost and manufacturers involvement.
      Re. COTD, I commented on it “Remember Olivier Panis?!” and lo and behold Panis features in “On this day” of course my answer does not explain why they all aren’t doing it. Good question.

      1. Yeah, that press conference really had some very interesting things in it, I heard part of it on Sky yesterday.

    10. Itis kinda difficult to take Sir Frank Williams seriously after he uses the f-word. It’s like you’re seriously reading the article and then suddenly you go, “Woah!” :P

      1. I found his comments really nice, coming from the heart. It really shows he feels on top of it now (not embarrassed by the lack of results anymore).

        1. Exactly BasCB, Frank has given up political correctness along with the top job, now he feels free to act and speak like a wealthy investor.

      2. But Frank has always been one to speak his mind. He doesn’t do interviews very often, but expect his language to be filled with all manner of spice.
        He is afterall compared to the Krays, in the ruthless manner in which he runs his organisation.

        1. @ooliver, yes he has been ruthless, so much so that I felt no sorrow watching the teams decline, possibly it was press self-censorship but previous quotes from Frank always sounded like they had been composed by the PR dept. I like the new more human Frank.

    11. Happy birthday @Sumedh!

      1. Exactly, have a great day @sumedh !

      2. Well said, wishing you a great day @sumedh!

    12. The static camera on that youtube 1997 Spanish GP video (at 0:37) shows you what FOM should be doing today instead of panning those cameras around negating the sense of speed.

    13. Interesting looking back at the 1997 Spanish GP; proof that tyres being a game changer is nothing new.

    14. I`m afraid Brune Sennas name is always going to be mentioned in the same sentence as “what might have been”. His career has been totally defined by his great uncle Ayrton. Ayrton Senna used to say that Bruno was more talented than he was and created expectations it would always be difficult for Bruno to fulfill. Then Ayrton crashed and died and Bruno`s parents forced him to quit racing. A big blow in any career as he lost so much during that period.

      The fact that he is in F1 at all after all this is incredible, and says a lot about his out and out talent. We will never know how much Ayrton Sennas death affected his mentality. But i think it would be fair to say that Ayrton Senna`s accident and Brunos parents panic in the aftermath (forced him to quit racing) probably has affected his willingness to take risks, and his great uncle was one of the biggest risktakers ever. If Ayrton Senna hadn`t died we probably would have seen a different Bruno Senna today, both in his career and mentally. Furthermore he would probably have been in F1 at a much younger age and would have been offered bigger opportunities than now. You forgive a 20-year-old mistakes and put in on the “experience-for the future-account”, a 28-year-old will be dealt with more harshly.

      Bruno Senna will always live in the huge shadow of his great uncle. Ayrton Senna was in many ways larger than life, and his example and legacy has totally defined Bruno Sennas life up till this point. There is no doubt in my mind that Bruno Senne would have been a Formula 1 champion without the events that changed his life. But it`s too late now, too much has happened that has affected him and he will not be able to change it. He would be better of leaving F1 and define himself instead of living in Syrton Sennas shadow.

      1. Eleanore (@leucocrystal)
        25th May 2012, 10:22

        While he always will live in that shadow, no matter what he does or how successful a driver he ultimately becomes, I wouldn’t say he’d be “better off” leaving F1 and defining himself some other way. The fact that he still so adamantly wanted to race that he was willing to fight for it in spite of his family’s fears even after 11 years away from it shows his determination and love for it. If it’s what he wants to do, which it clearly is, then so be it. He has just as much right as the next driver to do so as long as he’s got the opportunity.

        1. He has just as much right as the next driver to do so as long as he’s got the opportunity.

          The right? Yes.

          The opportunity? Certainly.

          The talent? Absolutely not. Even if we disregard 2010 (which we shouldn’t) and begin counting from Spa in 2011, Senna’s career has been fraught with costly errors. Whether it was colliding with Jaime Alguersuari at La Source, hittting Schumacher with a sloppy defensive move at Interlagos, or spinning off at the end of Q1 in Barcelona, Bruno Senna has repeatedlt demonstrated that he simply isn’t up to the task of driving a Formula 1 car competently.

          1. Eleanore (@leucocrystal)
            25th May 2012, 11:28

            Well, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion, I’ll give you that, though I don’t agree with it (and rarely have in the past). I’ll just say that by the yardstick you’re using here, few drivers currently on the grid have the talent to drive an F1 car “competently”.

          2. I’m on the fence with regards to how good Bruno is. He’s made some mistakes, but it doesn’t mean he absolutely can’t drive competently. He’s had some good drives too, but I’m not as convinced as some other people here, nor am I as unimpressed as Prisoner Monkeys.

          3. You have a habit of ignoring the talent he showed pre-F1 and the two strong races he’s had this year. Nobodies saying that he’s fantastic, but saying he categorically doesn’t have the talent is clearly wrong as he otherwise wouldn’t have put in strong performances, over-taking and out-driving other drivers who are known to have talent. You named 3 incidents for Senna- I can name just as many for Maldonado.

            1. matt90 (@matt90)