Bruno Senna has all but resigned himself to a tough 2009 season, after admitting that waiting for the second seat at the successor to Honda F1 has probably cost him any chance of finding a title-winning ride in another series.
With Rubens Barrichello now the favourite to partner Jenson Button in whatever emerges from the ruins of the Honda team [see separate story HERE
], Senna could be forced to look elsewhere for employment, but knows that most of the coveted seats in the likes of GP2 and IndyCars have already been secured.
The Brazilian finished second to the similarly unemployed Giorgio Pantano in last year's GP2 Series, and knows that it would be a risk to return to the category even before the seats at champions Racing Engineering and the former Campos operation were snapped up. Ironically, Racing Engineering last week announced Senna's Honda rival Lucas di Grassi as its team leader while, 24 hours earlier, the rumoured opening at Campos - now renamed Barwa Team Addax - was sealed with the confirmation of Romain Grosjean and Vitaly Petrov.
Likewise, should Senna have considered the alien environment of IndyCars as an alternative, he is unlikely to find himself a contender with leading teams such as Penske, Andretti Green and Ganassi already full - although inking a rookie would not necessarily have been among their options anyway.
Senna, who had appeared on course to graduate to F1 with Honda while the Japanese marque remained committed to the top flight, now admits that, while he has yet to officially discounted by the team's successor, he may have been a little too trusting in holding out this long.
"I have a very different image of things now," he conceded to the O Estado de Sao Paolo
newspaper, having termed himself 'a little innocent' in his belief that he would move up to F1, "Ross Brawn clearly wants Rubens and I want to be with a team that wants me. I had a meeting today with Ross and he cancelled.
"I'm kind of resigned to leaving this project behind and looking for another, but I'm just a little upset that, because this situation has dragged on for so long, it has cost me other good possibilities. Anything I do now will be like taking a step backwards, but the important thing is for me to keep F1 as my priority, my next step. I will do everything I can to return. This has been a stumble in my life, but people go through their entire lives taking tumbles. I will bounce back."
Having been linked to a possible seat in the DTM touring car series, Senna has said that he will take time out with his family and other advisors to determine what path to take for 2009. The DTM, he insists, is not
something that he has considered - yet.
“I met with Norbert Haug last week in Europe," he confirmed, "but we talked about F1, and the supply of [Mercedes] engines for Honda. At no point did the subject of the DTM come up. We didn't talk about it because my interest is elsewhere, in having a chance in F1, where I am certain I would be competitive."
Given his current plight, however, the Brazilian refuses to discount anything....
"I don't intend to compete in the DTM," he insisted, "but, if the only other option would be to run for a lesser team in GP2, then I could consider the possibility.”