Max iSport International has signed Bruno Senna to fight for the twin GP2 titles up for grabs in 2008. The agreement between the promising young Brazilian driver and the reigning GP2 champions was confirmed this Wednesday.
"I see in Bruno one of those single minded personalities that has the determination to reach the top," commented Paul Jackson, general director of iSport.
"I am happy that everything has worked out. iSport provides me with everything I need to fight for victories and for the championship," said Bruno.
As well as competing in the regular European based championship with its double header rounds taking place alongside Formula One events, Bruno will also race in the 2008 GP2 Asia Championship. This brand new series, comprising of five double header events, kicks off in Dubai on January 25th, before heading off to Indonesia, Malaysia, Bahrain and then back to Dubai again for the final on April 11/12th. The rounds in Malaysia and the Bahrain will support the Malaysian and Bahrain Formula One Grands Prix.
At 24 years of age and with only three years experience in motor sport behind him, Bruno Senna finished 8th in his first season of GP2 in 2007. It was the best debut for a Brazilian driver since the launch of the category in 2005 and included the highlight of an impressive early victory in Barcelona in the third round. Two further podium finishes during the season (third places in Magny-Cours (France) and Monza (Italy) helped Bruno achieve his goal for the season, to finish in the Top 10 of the Championship.
iSport won both the GP2 team's and driver's titles in 2007, breaking the winning streak of the double champions ART Grand Prix and enhancing their reputation as one of the most competitive racing teams in the business. iSport's Champion driver, Timo Glock from Germany, equally built on his own reputation during the season and has subsequently been hired by the Toyota F1 team to compete in the 2008 Formula One World Championship.
It was during the winter tests with iSport in October that Bruno set a new circuit record for GP2 around Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) and in so doing, strengthened the interest of the team in signing him to lead their challenge for the 2008 titles.
Commenting on the tests, Bruno said, "iSport's car is very good as I always knew, I was able to set the pace straight away and I immediately got along well with the mechanics and engineers."
Paul Jackson noted however, that speed was only one of the positive characteristics demonstrated by Bruno while working with the team. "His feedback to the engineers was detailed and accurate and it confirmed our opinion that Bruno is able to run consistently at the front. Having gone through a tough learning year, we feel Bruno is now ready to be a real Championship contender," he assured.
Bruno is confident iSport's influence will help guide him to Formula One in 2009. This goal will also depend on his achieving good results in a year of many changes in GP2. An all new Dallara chassis with totally revised suspension and aerodynamics will replace the model used since the beginning of the series and which has reached the end of its planned 3 year life cycle in Europe.
The 2007 chassis however, will continue to be used in the Asia GP2 Championship, a program that will be of fundamental importance in Bruno's career plan. "It is an advantage in my favor that not all drivers will compete in both championships," reflected Bruno as he will now compete in 33 races during 2008.
"The GP2 Asia Series will be a great benefit for Bruno and the team. Although there will be a new car for 2008, the mileage over the winter will keep Bruno sharp and will enable him and the team to build that all important human relationship that will see us through any hard times, as there surely will be on occasions," continued Jackson
After a long winter away from competition, iSport is eagerly anticipating the start of the season. "Although he has less mileage than some other drivers, he has clearly demonstrated his intelligence and maturity that will prove vital as he takes on this very demanding challenge. The whole team is looking forward to the coming season and can't wait to start racing," concluded Jackson.
The first official appearance for Bruno Senna as an iSport driver is scheduled for January 18th, the first of four test days for the GP2 Asia Championship in Dubai, prior to the opening round on January 25th at the same circuit.