Having lost his drive with Hispania Racing (HRT), Bruno Senna has secured a role in F1 for the 2011 season after being named as a third driver for the Lotus Renault GP team.
Senna will share the role with Romain Grosjean who rejoins the team, while Lotus Renault GP academy members Jan Charouz, Ho-Pin Tung and Fairuz Fauzy will continue to act as reserve drivers. The Brazilian's role will be very development-focussed and will see him provide input into all Lotus cars, both track and road.
“It's a great moment for me,” enthused Senna, whose late uncle Ayrton was famously synonymous with JPS Lotus-Renault during the mid-1980s. “It's a really exciting opportunity from both Group Lotus and Lotus Renault GP. I've been trying to get into a good F1 programme for a couple of years, so it feels great to be joining such an established team. I'm proud of this achievement, and thankful for the opportunity that I've been given.
“To be able to develop my F1 career within a world championship-winning organisation and to do so in conjunction with some hugely interesting work for such an iconic sportscar company as Lotus is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“Lotus has placed a great deal of faith in me, and I am looking forward to beginning work on the technical side of our relationship. Giving feedback into the development of the Lotus road and race programmes will be a fun but challenging way to spend time between my F1 commitments as a reserve driver for Lotus Renault GP.
“This year will be all about integrating myself with the team and extracting the most I can from being in such a competitive environment. Being part of this project will give me so much valuable experience, and it's down to me to make the most of it. I hope that I can develop myself and prove to the team that I should be given an opportunity for the future.
“My relationship with Lotus is just at the beginning. For me, the aim is to continue to make progress in my F1 career whilst at the same time contributing to the success of the various Lotus projects I will be involved with. There are some fun times ahead!”
“We're delighted to have Bruno on-board,” added Lotus' director of motorsport, Claudio Berro. “In his young motorsport career, he's built up a great armoury of skills and experience. He's a fast learner, and this talent combined with his ability to shift between different types of racecar will make him a great asset to Lotus. Normally people like to talk about the 'technology transfer' between F1 and road cars, but in Bruno's case we're opening this up to an intellectual transfer – we're certainly going to keep him busy!”
Grosjean, meanwhile, who had already revealed the news of his return to the French press, said he was pleased to be back with the team.
“It's a great opportunity for me to be back in F1, because my dream is to try and get back on the grid,” he said. “It's a good time to be here because this team is getting stronger, and everybody saw how much the car improved last year. Now, with the arrival of Lotus as a partner, there is a real buzz about this team and it's exciting to be a part of it.”