Senna 'pushing hard' for 2013 seat
23 November 2012
Bruno Senna insists that, while his management team is exploring every opportunity to remain in the grid next season, he can't afford to lose focus on the one race remaining on the 2012 F1 schedule.
A good performance in the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend could be vital for Senna after a difficult season with the Williams team that has seen him have to sit out the majority of Friday morning practice sessions in favour of reserve driver Valtteri Bottas. The Finn is widely tipped to have been given the track time in a bid to prepare him for a full race seat in 2013, with Senna being the odd man out in a three-way scrap as his own funding is trumped by that of Venezuela's Pastor Maldonado.
The pair are split by 14 points in the drivers' championship, largely due to Maldonado's unexpected Spanish GP success and despite Senna having found the top ten exactly twice as often, but doors continue to close on the Brazilian, with Esteban Gutierrez and Charles Pic having been confirmed at Sauber and Caterham respectively on the opening day at Interlagos.
"It's been a very challenging season, lots of learning," Senna reflected , "We got some very good results and some tough races as well. Considering it was my first full year in F1 [after part seasons with both HRT and Lotus-Renault], and with the small handicap of not doing free practice on Fridays, I think it's been a pretty good year.
"In the end, most of my races have been very strong. Just starting from a different position from where I should be starting has made me score less points than I could have had. At the end of the day, it's learning and you normally do much better on the second attempt at the same thing so, for sure, there will be a lot of improvement to be done for next year."
Asked whether he was confident that there would even be a next year, Senna confirmed that there was no guarantee that he would be on the grid, but that work was ongoing to at least give himself a shot at returning.
"Yeah, it's undecided, and I think we will have to wait until after the season to see what's going to happen," the Brazilian explained, "Let's hope it comes in a good way and we can be in a competitive car for next season."
Despite Pic's signing, Caterham remains among the possible destinations for Senna, with neither Heikki Kovalainen or Vitaly Petrov definite to return in 2013, but he has also been connected to Force India, which would represent a more competitive prospect than its Leafield rival. Senna, however, would not be drawn on the options currently under consideration.
"It's hard to say. Formula 1 is full of turns and different small details so it's important to keep pushing, keep going, be in the right place at the right time.
"We're working on it for sure, but it's not secure yet, so I think we will have a decision or an announcement to be made after the Brazilian Grand Prix. But so far it's business as usual here on the track and focusing on [securing] the best result of the season so far."
Regarding a switch to a rival team, the former HRT and Renault driver said he and his management's focus was on ensuring he was in a competitive seat for 2013, although stressed that for this weekend his mind was purely on racing matters.
"It's difficult to know [what will happen]," he told Sky Sports News, "It's not defined yet and we are pushing very hard to make sure that I have a competitive seat for next year. But, at the end of the day, it's important to keep the right focus for this weekend, push on the competitive side and worry about the [future] races a bit later on."