Bruno Senna will not take the Lotus Renault seat vacated by the injured Robert Kubica. It’s all but certain that will go to Nick Heidfeld, who set Saturday’s fastest lap time in pre-season testing at Jerez, Spain. Senna seems happy enough with the developments, which leave him next in line (on paper, anyway) as a reserve driver. Despite limited testing experience (Sunday’s run at Jerez was only his second time testing an F1 car), Senna proved to be fifth fastest for the day before rain cut the test session short.
Autoweek quotes Senna as saying, “I started the day pretty relaxed; gradually built up my confidence, and then by lunchtime I was feeling pretty comfortable with things. I was looking forward to doing some hard laps at the end of the day, but with the red flags and the weather, there wasn’t enough time.” Senna’s perspective was reinforced by Renault engineering chief Alan Permane, who praised both Senna’s “sensible” approach to building speed and his ability to provide feedback to the team.
Perhaps most impressive of all is that Senna had never driven a car with a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) or an adjustable wing before. He seemed to adapt quickly enough, despite having virtually no test experience in F1. Let’s hope that Lotus Renault continues to develop Bruna Senna as a driver; I agree that he’s not ready for prime time yet, but could pose a serious competitive threat in a few years time.