EngageSportMode was saddened to read that Williams F1 today have, predictably, decided to drop Bruno Senna for the 2013 season and replace him with Valtteri Bottas instead.
Valterri (I’m having a hard time not writing that as Valerie) Bottas has been the Williams team test-driver for the past year, taking Senna’s seat in Friday practice sessions for the latter half of the season. In short, the Oxford-based constructor has groomed the young Finn to take his place in Formula 1 for 2013 for quite some time. To date his biggest success has come in winning the 2011 GP3 Series where he took four race wins to beat his team-mate to the title.
He is, however, unproven in a Formula 1 race environment and the step up from GP3 to the top-level of single-seater racing is a big one. The hype around Bottas suggests he might be the one to push Williams closer to the front of the pack, but in many respects this is somewhat of a gamble. Whilst Pastor Maldonado is known for his qualifying pace and outright ferocious tenacity, that fiery temperament has a habit of producing errors and penalties. Throughout 2012 the Venezuelan managed to accrue eight penalties, including three in one weekend at the Belgian Grand Prix. It says something that despite winning the Spanish round, Maldonado finished only one place ahead of Bruno Senna in the Driver’s Championship standings.
Senna was far from earth-shattering during 2012, but it’s also fair to say he suffered an unfair amount of bad luck. Scoring points in half the 20 rounds of the season, Bruno could often be found fighting his way through the field to get into the lower points-paying positions. He also had his fair share of penalties, but compared to Maldonado he was a model of restraint most of the time.
In addition, he’s estimated to be worth around $14 million in sponsorship backing, though not quite the level of money Maldonado’s Venezuelan oil dollars bring in. He’s also possibly one of the nicest guys in motorsport, along with being the most optimistic as Gareth Jones (TV’s famous Gaz Top in case you’re wondering) pointed out on Twitter. Oh, and Bruno is the nephew of the greatest Formula 1 driver ever, if you needed reminding. And he has the same birthday as me, so naturally he must be cool.
So, EngageSportMode would like to launch it’s Keep Bruno Senna in F1! campaign. Kamui Kobayashi has the backing of Taki Inoue, so I think it’s fair to give everyone’s favourite Brazilian driver some support too.
The battle begins here, because as we all know, the Internets can do anything; look at Gangnam Style, look at that sneezing panda on YouTube. Perhaps don’t look at Wikileaks, but it’s still obvious how powerful we can be. Go forth and save Bruno Senna’s career!