An interview with Bruno Senna
Senna, a very well known name in the world of Motorsport and a name set to continue after the tragic death of multiple Formula One world champion Ayrton back in 1994 with his young and very talented nephew, Bruno, bursting onto the GP2 scene and well on his way to taking his first crown in the Bridgestone shod series.
|Bruno Senna winning at Monaco this year|
Currently sitting second in the drivers’ championship after a brilliant victory in wet conditions at the Silverstone meeting, the young native of Brazil is just seven points behind current leader, Giorgio Pantano, and determined to continue working his way into top spot before the season comes to a close.
From there, who knows, as Formula One is beckoning and for the past three seasons, the GP2 champion has moved into the pinnacle of Motorsports the following year, a move fully deserved by all those before him, such as Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Timo Glock, who finished second in the recent Hungarian Grand Prix.
Bruno, you raced in the GP2 Asia Series, mostly in high temperatures and sometimes in rain, which means extreme conditions. How does it feel with the Bridgestone tires in both conditions?
I like the Bridgestone tires in both hot and wet conditions; they always do a good job in the wet and last a long time in high temperatures, when the tires work harder and changes are more frequent.
Do you like racing on a damp track and what is the feeling?
Yes, I do – it is difficult with poor grip, but I relish the challenge. I have done well in the wet this season, especially winning the sprint race at Silverstone.
You switched to rain tires in Hockenheim, in hindsight, was this the right decision?
The rain made things very, very difficult at the end, although I did quite enjoy the challenge. The team decided to gamble on a switch to wets and I think it was the right call, but we just needed a few more laps to gain maximum advantage.
In the end, I’m pretty sure I’d have finished on the podium if conditions had remained dry. It was frustrating to be stuck behind di Grassi for so long, because I was potentially much faster and being bottled behind him caused my front tires to suffer. Consequently, the car didn’t feel quite as good once I’d worked my way past him, but I was still quicker than Buemi and fairly sure I’d be able to take third. But then it rained…
Would you say that tire grip is the main factor in order to feel comfortable inside the car?
I think it contributes a great deal to feeling comfortable in the car. It is an important part of the car set-up.
Your uncle was a rain master, did he give you any advice when you were a little boy and racing in go-karts?
When I was young we used to race karts at our farm in Brazil so he taught me the basics of racing and racing lines.
You have had your share of bad luck this year, how do you cope with this?
I think it is fair to say that everyone can have a dose of bad luck. I have had two unfortunate races this season – when I hit the dog in Turkey and the technical failure in Magny Cours. You just have to try and put these bad races behind you, and where possible, learn from these experiences.
You are 2nd in the GP2 Europe championship, are you happy about this?
I am happy being in second place but am working hard to close the gap on Pantano; with a strong finish to the season, I am confident that I can win the championship and that is my focus.
2008 is your second season in the GP2 Series, will it be the last?
If I keep working hard and performing well, opportunities will come my way, but I don’t take anything for granted.
Your Monaco win, a very special one we guess…?
Yes, it was fifteen years after my uncle last won there, so it was very special. My family were ecstatic, especially my mum – she was even more pleased than me!
What would make you happy in the next few weeks, professionally speaking?
In the next few weeks I hope to be very competitive on the track to get as many points as possible. There are only six races left in the season, so not long. History tells us that the winner of the GP2 Championship has a great chance of moving up to Formula One, so there’s a real incentive for me.
Who would you class as your biggest rival in the series?
There are a lot of great drivers in the series, Giorgio Pantano, who is in the lead, Romain Grosjean is a talented young driver and my team mate at iSport, Karun Chandhok, has shown his driving talent this season, too.
There are a lot of rumors about you switching to F1 in the near future. Your thoughts on this?
I have been linked with a number of F1 teams, which is very flattering, but I don’t know what is going to happen next season yet. I’m just focused on the GP2 Championship at the moment.
Comparing GP2 Asia to GP2 Europe, which do you prefer and why?
GP2 Europe is stronger with many more drivers in contention to win; there are also more competitive teams and I prefer the European cars which have more power and softer tires.