Bruno Senna says he is confident of a strong weekend at Monza this weekend after an encouraging performance on his debut for the Lotus Renault GP team at Spa last time out.
After a crash in a wet opening practice session, the Brazilian bounced back well on his first appearance in an F1 race seat this year, qualifying seventh on the grid although his race result was affected by a mistake at the start that resulted in him finishing down in 13th.
With a weekend behind the wheel of the R31 now under his belt, Senna said he was going to Monza with more confidence as he seeks to score his first F1 points and he said he confident of running inside the top ten.
“Of course in Spa I didn't know what to expect in terms of the competitiveness, but it was extremely encouraging that I managed to develop my pace quickly, and work with the team well,” he said. “I have a strong working relationship with the engineers, and I am eager to get into the cockpit in Monza because I feel more confident heading into this race. As with any sport, miles on the clock and experience instil confidence in oneself.
“I know the car much better now. I'm more familiar with the tendencies the car has, and I understand the direction we can take it. I'm looking forward to working closely with the engineers to devise solutions on where we can strengthen our approach.
“[Monza is] a circuit where I've had a mixed bag of results. When I was younger, there were a few occasions when I didn't have the right car set-up but I now understand the circuit much better. I'm a more mature driver now, and I'm confident we can achieve another top 10 qualifying and score more points.”
Team-mate Vitaly Petrov meanwhile goes into the weekend buoyed by a points finish at Spa and he admitted he was looking forward to the Monza race.
“This is a big race, no two ways about it,” he said. “I think it is quite similar to England; just like Silverstone is full of English fans, Monza is full of Italian Ferrari fans! They just love motorsport, love the circuit and love Formula 1.
“Monza is a very interesting track, where you need a different level of downforce; you also need a very strong engine and solid brakes. There aren't many corners but every single centimetre of the track is critical for lap time. Braking, traction and exits of corners – Monza is all about precision.”