Senna, de la Rosa, could lose F1 seats? UPDATE #4 (GMM) It is not yet clear if Bruno Senna has permanently lost his HRT race drive. The struggling Spanish team's boss Colin Kolles told reporters at Silverstone late on Thursday that reserve Sakon Yamamoto will be regular driver Karun Chandhok's replacement teammate this weekend.
He said no more information will be available until a press release is issued on Friday morning. But Kolles did tell the BBC that Yamamoto, who turns 28 on Friday, is not guaranteed the seat for the rest of 2010.
"A decision as to who will drive for Hispania for the rest of the season will be taken over the weekend," he said.
With the situation almost certainly related to the drivers' available sponsorship funds, Finland's Turun Sanomat said Japanese Yamamoto is better financed than HRT's other reserve driver Christian Klien. Senna, the 26-year-old nephew of the great Ayrton Senna, made his debut with HRT this year with the backing of Brazilian companies Banco Cruzeiro do Sul and Embratel.
07/08/10 (GMM) As Thursday evening fell at Silverstone, a rumor swept the paddock that Bruno Senna has been dropped by HRT. The speculation was treated with skepticism by some, given the Brazilian rookie's PR visit during the day to the nearby Cosworth factory.
And just three hours ago, he wrote on Twitter that he is "looking forward to the weekend at Silverstone", and last week an official team statement quoted him as saying: "I am looking forward to the British grand prix."
|Bruno Senna - if he is canned for being too slow, F1 will need to find a replacement track cleaner on Friday mornings|
But team boss Colin Kolles told reporters at the Northamptonshire venue late on Thursday that reserve driver Sakon Yamamoto will race Senna's car this weekend.
He said more details would be provided in the morning, amid rumors the Japanese former Spyker and Super Aguri driver Yamamoto has simply stumped up with enough money to buy out Senna's race seat. 06/04/10 (GMM) The HRT and Sauber teams have moved to play down speculation that suggests their driver lineups may soon change. In recent days, reports have said Bruno Senna might be replaced at the new Spanish team HRT by the higher-paying Japanese reserve driver Sakon Yamamoto.
And persistent speculation has dogged Sauber's Pedro de la Rosa this year, with the latest reports saying Italian GP2 driver Luca Filippi could become Kamui Kobayashi's new teammate.
Both teams released interviews to the media on Thursday.
HRT's interview quoted team boss Colin Kolles as suggesting he is happy with both Senna and his fellow rookie teammate Karun Chandhok. "Karun and Bruno are very talented young drivers which developed well in the first races," he said. "I am confident and looking forward Bruno and Karun doing a good job in the coming races which will improve the overall performance of the team," added Kolles.
He also said both Yamamoto and Christian Klien "did a good job" as they recently tested on Friday morning practice sessions.
Meanwhile, Sauber's official interview was with Japanese rookie Kobayashi, and one question asked if he is enjoying working alongside the veteran de la Rosa.
"Pedro is a very nice guy, and with all his experience he is a really good teammate for me," he answered.
"I'm the rookie, he knows everything and he shares it with me," added the 23-year-old.
06/03/10 (GMM) Sauber has dismissed as "nonsense" reports that Pedro de la Rosa is on the verge of losing his race seat.
|Pedro de la Rosa|
The veteran Spaniard has been faced with similar speculation for almost the entire season so far, despite the Swiss team denying it is reconsidering its 2010 lineup.
The latest reports say de la Rosa, 39, was almost replaced by Italian GP2 driver Luca Filippi ahead of the Turkish grand prix.
The Italian source said an agreement may simply have been delayed until the European grand prix at Valencia at the end of the month.
But the Swiss newspaper Blick, whose correspondent Roger Benoit is historically very close to 66-year-old Peter Sauber, quoted a team source as dismissing the latest rumors as "nonsense".
The newspaper also reports that Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi is set to stay with Toro Rosso in 2011, and in the longer term is a candidate to move up to the energy drink company's main team Red Bull Racing.06/02/10 (GMM) Bruno Senna is in danger of losing his formula one seat, according to a report in the Italian media. Autosprint reports that the 26-year-old Brazilian could be replaced by HRT's recently-signed Friday and reserve driver Sakon Yamamoto.
Senna said recently he is grappling with the perception that, at the wheel of the uncompetitive Dallara-built car, he is struggling to live up to the image of his famous late uncle.
"There is a fine line between explaining and moaning," he said. "It is very difficult but, in the right place, at the right team and with the right car, I can be world champion," insisted Senna. zzzz
The timing of the Yamamoto speculation is odd, given that Senna's performance on Saturday afternoon in Turkey marked the first time an HRT driver has outqualified a rival car on a dry track.
Meanwhile, another Italian report claims that Italian GP2 driver Luca Filippi came close to taking over the Sauber seat occupied by Pedro de la Rosa in Turkey.
Italiaracing said an agreement with the 24-year-old was "delayed", but reports that Filippi could instead make his debut at Valencia later this month.