Two Formula One team owners with links to the Senna family have expressed their delight at finally seeing its latest generation break into the top flight, but insist that he may face more pressure than other rookies.
After months of speculation, Bruno Senna finalised his deal with F1 newcomer Campos Meta over the weekend [see story here
] and will now face off against the last man to run his famous uncle, Ayrton, in an F1 car, and another who passed on the chance to give Bruno his debut in what would be a race-winning car in 2009.
The youngster used to race karts against the legendary Ayrton prior to the three-time world champion's death at Imola in 1994 and, after taking time out at the behest of his grief-stricken family, has gone on to carve out his own career on the motorsport ladder. Having risen rapidly to GP2, Bruno was on the short-list to partner Jenson Button at the Brawn team in 2009 but, with the upheaval of rescuing the operation from the ashes of Honda, team owner Ross Brawn opted instead for the proven ability of F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello.
"I was always very impressed with Bruno, I thought he did a good job for us," Brawn told Reuters
on learning of the Brazilian's deal, "He was certainly the best of the candidates we had, but we were still not decided if we were going to go down the route of a new driver, so that decision hadn't been made."
Even though Senna will be lining up with a team with no experience of F1, Brawn believes that the Campos operation will provide him with a good introduction to the top flight.
"I think it's a great opportunity for him, and I look forward to seeing how well he does," he continued, "I think it's important he does well because, obviously, the name is great, but it would be a shame if he doesn't. I think, like most of the young modern drivers, they treat it very seriously, they get themselves fit and they do all the training they can do on simulators now. But he is going to need some mileage and has got to find ways of getting race fit over the winter."
Frank Williams agrees that carrying the Senna name will probably bring the biggest burden for Bruno when he makes his debut with Campos Meta over the winter.
"I hope he is [quick], because there is unfortunately an unimaginably great expectation on his shoulders," he said, "I just wish him well - it's important for the family that he does extremely well."