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Senna 'happy' to score, but wishes race had been 'just one lap longer...'

Whilst team-mate Vitaly Petrov found himself in the wars and removed from the equation right at the start, Bruno Senna admitted he was delighted to score his first F1 points in only his second race for Lotus Renault GP at Monza
Bruno Senna confessed that he was a 'very happy' man after taking the chequered flag in ninth place to tally his first points for Lotus Renault GP in only his second start for the team in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix – his sole regret, he conceded, was that the race did not last a lap longer...

Having impressed by qualifying a superb seventh on his competitive debut for Lotus Renault GP after being drafted in at the eleventh hour to replace the out-of-favour Nick Heidfeld for the Belgian Grand Prix – only to blot his copybook somewhat by causing a first corner accident in the race at Spa-Francorchamps – Senna again caught the eye by sneaking into Q3 at Monza, but this time, he would find himself on the receiving end of an opening lap pile-up entirely not of his own making.

From tenth on the grid, the Brazilian narrowly avoided being sideswiped by the errant Hispania Racing entry of Vitantonio Liuzzi into Turn One – unlike some of his rather more luckless rivals, team-mate Vitaly Petrov included – but he found his line through the corner compromised and, following an early pit-stop at the end of the lap, emerged all the way down in 18th position.

From there, the 27-year-old charged his way up the order into ninth, battling feistily past the Scuderia Toro Rosso of Sébastien Buemi in the closing stages and homing right in on the back of Force India F1 rookie Paul di Resta at the flag to return the Senna name to the points standings in the top flight for the first time since the 1993 Australian Grand Prix.

“I'm happy to score my first F1 points, especially as it was only my second race for the team,” he remarked. “Although I started tenth, it was not an easy job to finish ninth. We suffered some bad luck in the first corner; everybody was cutting the chicane which forced me to drive on the outside, and in the process I lost all the places I had fought so hard for in qualifying.

“It makes me very happy, though, to know that I am able to put myself in the position of scoring points, and also to fight with guys who have been doing this for a long time. The pace of the car was clear for all to see, but I wish the race had been just one lap longer because I may have been able to pass Paul for eighth. The team chose a great strategy, the tyres were fast enough where I needed them to be and I am very happy to get my name on the points board. The team did a great job, and I am really looking forward to Singapore.”

“Naturally, I am very disappointed with what happened,” rued Petrov, a helpless victim in the Liuzzi-instigated mêlée. “I had a reasonable start and, as I was heading into the first chicane, Vitantonio's HRT came from nowhere and hit me big-time, which brought my race to an end. There's nothing I could have done to avoid this.

“First of all, I'm happy not to be injured, as the impact was quite strong and it could have been a nasty accident. We have put in so much effort since Spa, at the track, Enstone and Viry, so I'm sorry that wasn't translated into points. This is part of racing, but I can't help thinking that we could have secured a good result.

“We must now concentrate on Singapore, which will be a real test for us. We will be bringing another technical upgrade with us, before going on to quicker tracks like Japan and Korea, which should suit our car better. On the upside, the car felt good since the first practice session [at Monza]; we definitely made a step forward performance-wise, and we should have a strong end to the season.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
26.03.2011- Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Renault F1 Team
10.09.2011- Qualifying, Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Renault F1 Team
10.09.2011- Saturday Practice, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
11.09.2011- Race, Crash, Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA), HRT Formula One Team and Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
11.09.2011- Race, Crash, Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA), HRT Formula One Team and Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31 and Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33
11.09.2011- Race, Crash, Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA), HRT Formula One Team, Nico Rosberg (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02 and Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
09.09.2011- Friday Practice 1, Bruno Senna (BRA), Lotus Renault GP R31
09.09.2011- Friday Practice 1, Bruno Senna (BRA), Lotus Renault GP R31
10.09.2011- Saturday Practice, Bruno Senna (BRA), Lotus Renault GP R31
10.09.2011- Bruno Senna (BRA), Lotus Renault GP R31
09.09.2011- Friday Practice 1, Bruno Senna (BRA), Lotus Renault GP R31
08.09.2011- Bruno Senna (BRA), Lotus Renault GP R31
10.09.2011- Qualifying, Bruno Senna (BRA), Lotus Renault GP R31
(L to R): Bob Bell (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team Chief Technical Officer with Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Managing Director; Jerome Stoll (FRA) Renault Sport F1 President; Thierry Koskas, Renault Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing; and Louise Ekland (GBR).
Renault Sport Academy Drivers (L to R): Max Fewtrell (GBR); Jack Aitken (GBR); Jarno Opmeer (NLD); Sun Yue Yang (CHN). 
Sun Yue Yang (CHN) Renault Sport Academy Driver.
Sergey Sirotkin (RUS) Renault Sport F1 Team Third Driver.
Jarno Opmeer (NLD) Renault Sport Academy Driver.

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waz1164 - Unregistered

September 12, 2011 1:01 PM

great race for senna. Good to see him battle from the back and show his tallent. well earned points. Maybe now people will stop slaggin him off, he has shown he deserves a drive.

Foreigner - Unregistered

September 12, 2011 2:54 PM

A good race from Bruno, with an unfortunate start and a frenetic finish. Two more facts: Bruno posted the fourth fastest lap with 1:26.895 and reached the fastest speed recorded at the speed trap with 347.0 km/h, followed by Massa and Perez at 342.8 km/h.

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