Bruno Senna signs for Williams for 2012 season


Williams have today confirmed Bruno Senna has signed for the team for the forthcoming Formula One season.

Senna stepped in as replacement for Nick Heidfeld at Renault for the final races of last season but was overlooked for this year as the team opted for Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastien Grosjean.

The decision sees the Senna name return to Williams, for whom Bruno's late uncle Ayrton, the three-time world champion, was driving when he was killed at the San Marino Grand Prix in May 1994.

Senna replaces fellow Brazilian Rubens Barrichello, whose 19-season career in F1 appears to be over, with just one seat now available for 2012 at Hispania Racing.

Senna said: "I feel very privileged Williams has selected me as one of their race drivers.

"The team has a great heritage and I hope I can help write a good chapter in their history.

"The evaluation process has been intense and methodical, but the time I have spent in the factory has demonstrated the team has great people and all the resources needed to achieve better things this season.

"It will be very interesting to drive for a team that my uncle has driven for, particularly as quite a few of the people here actually worked with Ayrton.

"Hopefully we can bring back some memories and create some great new ones too.

"I also want to get some good results in return for the support my country has given me to help get me to this position today.

"I am very proud to be Brazilian and more motivated than ever to demonstrate what I can do. Ever since I first sat in a go-kart I never wanted to do anything else."

Senna, who will drive the team's new car for the first time at the opening test in Jerez on February 9, partners Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado at the Grove-based marque.

Explaining the reasoning behind appointing Senna, team principal Sir Frank Williams said: "The circumstances of Bruno's two seasons in Formula One have not given him an ideal opportunity to deliver consistently.

"So it was essential we spent as much time with him as possible to understand and evaluate him as a driver.

"We have done this both on track and in our simulator and he has proven quick, technically insightful and above all capable of learning and applying his learning quickly and consistently.

"Now we are looking forward to seeing that talent in our race car."

Barrichello, meanwhile, was quick to pass on his best wishes to Senna via his Twitter account.

The 39-year-old said: "I won't be driving the Williams car this year. I wish my friend BSenna all the best...the future is wide open."