Though he has been most prominently linked with Scuderia Toro Rosso, it has emerged that Bruno Senna is also under consideration at four other Formula 1 teams for 2009 – Williams, Honda, Toyota and BMW-Sauber.
The GP2 Series front-runner – currently trailing championship leader and ex-F1 ace Giorgio Pantano by seven points in the title standings with three rounds to go – has been most strongly connected with STR due to the close friendship shared between the small Faenza-based squad's co-owner Gerhard Berger and the Austrian's former McLaren team-mate Ayrton Senna, Bruno's late uncle.
There will be a vacant seat at STR next season following Sebastian Vettel's promotion to the parent Red Bull Racing outfit – indeed possibly even two should Sébastien Bourdais not be retained beyond the end of the campaign either.
What's more, both BMW-Sauber and Toyota have reportedly discussed the possibility of employing Senna as a test driver in the top flight in 2009 with the Brazilian's management, whilst it has now been suggested that with potential race seats coming up at both Williams and Honda, the 24-year-old – of whom three-time F1 World Champion Ayrton once famously said 'If you think I'm good, just wait until you see my nephew' – may find an opening there too.
Furthermore, it has been claimed that Brazilian oil company – and current Williams sponsor – Petrobras could be willing to substantially support the São Paulo-born star's graduation to F1 should he make the jump with the multiple-championship-winning Grove-based concern.
“If a very good team offered me a test drive for a year and a race drive for the next year, that's a good prospect,” Senna told GPWeek
, “but I'd primarily prefer to have a race seat.”
“It's good if people in F1 are starting to talk about me,” he added, speaking to British newspaper The Daily Telegraph
, “but I have unfinished business in GP2.
“I think an F1 race seat would be more valuable to me than a back-up role next year, because I still have a lot to learn and you can't replicate all of that in testing.”
Berger has repeatedly sought to downplay any suggestions of Senna making the jump up to F1 with STR next year, insisting: “I run a team in partnership with Red Bull, and shouldn't mix personal things with business.