F1 hopeful Bruno Senna contends that the chances of him successfully graduating to the top flight are 'much better' for 2010 than they were for 2009 - when he came desperately close to making his debut for current world championship leaders Brawn GP.

Following a series of tests for the ex-Honda F1 outfit, and off the back of a strong season in the feeder GP2 Series that had seen him finish as runner-up to champion Giorgio Pantano in the title standings, Senna looked to be in pole position for the second Brawn GP seat alongside Jenson Button - only to be passed over at the eleventh hour in favour of more experienced compatriot Rubens Barrichello.

That left the young Brazilian to ply his trade in sportscars with Oreca in the Le Mans Series and Le Mans 24 Hours, but despite that switch and a flirtation with racing with a roof over his head following a couple of tests with Mercedes-Benz in the DTM, Senna's focus remains firmly focussed on F1. And this time around, he insists, he is far better prepared than he was twelve months ago.

"This year things seem much more exciting for me," affirmed the 25-year-old in an interview with the Gulf News. "It didn't happen this season, but next year the chances are much better. Last year it was tough due to Honda not really being prepared to take a risk with a new driver - or maybe I could not prove that I was good enough for them.

"The odds are much better this year, and the scenario too is different. So far I have been speaking to at least four F1 teams. I am currently in the middle of some very positive discussions with a handful of teams regarding an F1 seat next season. Talks are of course at an early stage, but I'm certainly hoping for some good news as things progress."

The nephew of the late, great three-time F1 World Champion Ayrton Senna has been linked with one of the two available berths at Spanish outfit Campos, one of the three new arrivals on the grand prix grid in 2010. The S?o Paulista also now has a special honour to his name as the first international driver to complete a lap at the spectacular new Yas Marina Circuit, scene of the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in late October.

"Every driver from every class is really excited about the new Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi," he revealed. "It seems that the state-of-the-art facilities, together with a demanding track layout, will be a new and tough challenge to drivers and teams.

"I would say the layout is quite selective. It is not exactly the same as Bahrain, where you can find at least four overtaking points, but you can earn position in one place or another. The 1.2km-long straight will ease that, for sure. Some corners are crazy as the cars will pass very close to the wall, like in the IndyCar Series. This mix of characteristics is cool.

"The garages are huge and, like the VIP areas and Media Centre for 600 journalists, have two floors and a terrace. The owners want to use it as a multi-use arena. There is one grandstand that can host music shows, as it features a very good acoustics."

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix support programme will include the GP2 Asia Series Porsche, Mobil1 Supercup and Chevrolet Supercars Middle East Challenge, a world-class line-up which organisers believe will be the ideal opportunity to trial the track's operating systems before the main event gets underway.

The Porsche Supercup series has supported Formula 1 events since 1993, and ADMM have signed a deal to host races until 2011. The Chevrolet Supercars Middle East Challenge, meanwhile, is a touring car series and offers action-packed racing in readily recognisable versions of the popular GM Lumina sedan.

"The support races add to the spectacle for racing fans and makes the 'ladder' of motor racing much easier to understand," remarked Senna, "and it is a perfect opportunity to see the up-and-coming talent that will feature in F1 in the future."


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