Bruno Senna has admitted that his hoped-for entry into Formula 1 in 2009 came unstuck largely as a result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he is adamant that it is 'not the end of the world' – and he remains hopeful of getting another chance in twelve months' time.
For much of the winter, it was almost taken as read that the young Brazilian – nephew of the late, great three-time F1 World Champion Ayrton Senna – would be lining up on the starting grid in the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne at the end of March behind the wheel of one of the two ex-Honda (now Brawn GP) cars alongside Jenson Button.
That followed an encouraging maiden test outing in the top flight for the Brackley-based concern back in November, when the 25-year-old is understood to have impressed team principal Ross Brawn and other senior staff members with his pace and technical feedback.
Though there were no further tests as the months dragged on and there was still no indication of whether the team would make the season or not, Senna remained strongly linked to whatever did ultimately rise from the ashes. And yet, when Brawn GP materialised last week, all talk regarding the GP2 Series runner-up went quiet, an arranged meeting was called off and Rubens Barrichello's name re-entered the fray – with, it would transpire, justification.
“At first it was a big disappointment,” Senna reflected, speaking exclusively to Crash.net Radio
. “Obviously it was something we thought we had a pretty good chance at, and I think we did, but it just turned out that things changed very quickly from the end of last year to now, and things are still changing a lot in Formula 1.
“We knew that Ross was quite busy with all the final preparations and last-minute arrangements for the team. They called us to cancel the meeting, and we didn't really hear from them officially in any way, but we just knew the way things were going and what the result would be.
“I think I did a really good job in the tests especially, and had I had any more opportunities to test, then I'm pretty certain I would have been able to secure the seat, but things just went in a way that I couldn't prove my capacity or my talent anymore. That's the way it is; the way the regulations are nowadays, it makes it very difficult for any drivers to go into Formula 1. It's the same for everybody.”
Confessing that he had never entirely shared the confidence of the constant paddock whispers suggesting he was virtually a shoe-in for the drive, Senna added that he both understands and respects Brawn's final decision – even if he is equally sure that had he been given the opportunity, he would have far from let the team down.
“I wasn't as confident as the rumours obviously,” he underlined, “because the rumours were a bit too optimistic and everything seemed to be fitting too perfectly! Obviously we had much more inside information that maintained a good reality check, so we knew that it wasn't as simple as the rumours were making it out to be.