Bruno Senna on F1 & Brazil's Love of Motor RacingBruno Senna is currently racing for Lotus Renault, after being drafted into the team to replace Nick Heidfeld. Following in the footsteps of his celebrated Uncle, Bruno finally broke into Formula One in 2010, driving for the Hispania Racing Team, where he debuted at the at Bahrain Grand Prix. In the following Q&A Bruno speaks of his joy at being back in F1, outlines his plans for the future and tells us why motor racing is so important to Brazilians.
How pleased are you to be back racing in Formula One?
I'm extremely pleased. Of course, it was my objective. It was a difficult, sad feeling not to be racing. I lucked into this great race seat, where I am learning a lot and am getting better.
How difficult has it been to step into the Lotus Renault team midway through the season?
It's difficult because people expect you to deliver very soon, without testing, without mileage, and going against the other guys who have the advantage of having the mileage is not easy. I think the fact that I delivered during the first race put even more pressure on me and myself for the next few races.
How are you finding life at Lotus Renault?
I think it's a great team. It's a team with great potential to build up. Unfortunately we've been having a bit of a struggle with the car, but it's still good enough to fight for points and if everything goes right then we can score some points, so let's try to take as many points away from the other teams as possible.
Are you hoping to challenge for a seat there next season?
I think so. I think there is always competition, always a challenge for a race seat and this is no different. Hopefully I'm in pole position for a seat for next year and hope that the results are good enough for it.
With a name like Senna, there must be a lot of pressure on you. Is that a massive burden?
There's loads of pressure, loads of expectation, but it has helped me a lot with sponsors, with learning how to deal with pressure and also, now to find the backing and the good partnerships for racing.
This year has seen the release of the 'Senna' movie. What were your thoughts on it?
It's an amazing tribute to Ayrton. I think there's very few ways they could show the person in a better way than they have, and these guys did a great job. If I managed to learn and relive so many experiences, then I'm sure people who don't know Ayrton well will have very different experiences. It's an experience for everyone, even those who are not race fans.
Motor racing is such a glamorous sport, but what is life actually like as a driver?
It's very busy. Probably 60 per cent of my life is spent in airports, and then maybe 30 per cent in race tracks and hotels and then 10 per cent at home, where you can relax a little bit and enjoy some free time.
How important is motor racing to Brazilians?
Motor racing and football are the most important sports in Brazil. We see how much the fans are demanding, how much the fans watch it in Brazil. It's a massive market for motor racing and football, so we really have our work cut out with the fans.
Some of the greatest motor racers are from Brazil. Why is motor sport so synonymous with Brazil?
It goes both ways. Because we had some good racers from many years ago and they were so successful, so it creates a generation that looks at motor racing and they want to be racing drivers. It's a cultural thing, so we have many drivers coming up from the go-karts.
What does it mean for you to be racing as a Brazilian?
I'm a very proud Brazilian, we always try to deliver the most for our country, because we know that it's not easy to be considered a third-world country. Our people are a bit under-rated and I think every time we deliver something at the very top level in anything, then it's great. It's not easy, but it's definitely special for most of our people.
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