Bruno Senna has defended his reputation in insisting that he will not
be a pay driver when he makes his grand prix debut in F1 2010 – despite rumours suggesting the young Brazilian has a wealth of sponsorship that helped him to secure the drive.
Senna – nephew of the late, great three-time F1 World Champion Ayrton Senna – has agreed terms for next year with Spanish newcomer Campos Meta, run by ex-grand prix ace Adrián Campos. The deal comes almost twelve months on from a series of impressive tests with Honda, off the back of which it had looked as though the 26-year-old would be making his top flight bow in 2009 – until the Japanese manufacturer suddenly pulled the plug on its involvement in the sport and the metamorphosis into Brawn GP meant experience rather than youth became the order of the day, causing Senna to lose out to compatriot Rubens Barrichello.
It has been suggested that the 2008 GP2 Series runner-up has lucrative backing from the likes of Brazilian companies Embratel and Petrobras – but not only did Senna thoroughly refute this, but moreover he told Brazil's Radio Bandeirantes
that he is confident the Dallara-designed and built chassis will be a competitive proposition next season.
“The contract I have does not depend on taking sponsorship to the team,” the Paulista insisted. “Of the new teams, Campos' car is the most progressed. It has already passed the frontal and lateral crash tests, which are the most important ones.”
Whilst no second driver has yet been announced, it has been widely speculated that McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa – a man who began 72 grands prix for Jordan, Arrows, Jaguar and McLaren between 1999 and 2006 – will occupy the cockpit, thereby ensuring the team of a blend of youth and experience for its maiden campaign in F1.