Bruno Senna has again sought to play down suggestions that he will definitely be in Formula 1 next year, by acknowledging that he and his management are 'holding serious talks with different people from different teams' – but insisting that 'nothing is decided yet'.
The Brazilian – nephew of the late, great three-time F1 World Champion Ayrton – is battling former Jordan Grand Prix ace Giorgio Pantano for the GP2 Series title laurels this year, and his name has for months been linked with a future berth in the top flight with Scuderia Toro Rosso, whose co-owner Gerhard Berger was a close friend of Senna's uncle and his team-mate at McLaren-Honda from 1990 to 1992.
The 24-year-old has, however, curiously not been included in a test for STR later this month involving Super Aguri F1 refugee Takuma Sato and fellow GP2 Series front-runner Sébastien Buemi, who Senna has out-scored 58 points to 37 so far this season.
It is equally said, though, that BMW-Sauber and Williams may also be interested in securing the iSport International star's services – though in a testing and reserve capacity rather than a racing role, something he has made clear would not be his primary option as he eyes the long-term rather than the short.
“I have of course been listening recently to all the whispering,” Senna wrote in his latest column for German website Motorsport Magazin
, “according to which I've supposedly already signed up for Formula 1 next year with Toro Rosso, or as test driver for BMW-Sauber.
“All I can say to that at the moment is there's no truth in it; none of these rumours has any basis in fact, and up to now nothing has been signed, sealed and delivered. We are currently holding serious talks with different people from different teams, but nothing is decided yet.
“We have to think about every single aspect of the decision, looking not just at the 2009 season, but also the bigger picture. What holds true is that fundamentally I would far rather be sitting in the cockpit and racing than spending a year just testing and not getting any race practice. As things stand at the moment, I probably wouldn't even put in all that many test kilometres either.”
Whilst everyone in the grand prix paddock awaits with baited breath for former double world champion Fernando Alonso to make his move – what is believed to be behind the delay in some teams, most prominently BMW and Honda, revealing their 2009 driver line-ups – Senna is hopeful that a resolution can soon be reached.
“Obviously I hope everything will be clarified by the end of the GP2 season,” the São Paulista affirmed, “not only by me, but also from some other developments and decisions that depend on Formula 1. After that it will be great to get my concrete preparations for 2009 up and running.”
Though Senna insisted in a separate interview with German news source Der Spiegel
that 'the possibility [of him being in F1 next year] is not very low', Berger – who several years ago promised Bruno's mother Viviane that he would look out for Ayrton's nephew – has repeatedly insisted that nepotism and sentimentality can play no part in his driver decisions.
“She wanted me to see that he was making the right moves, and I decided to help,” the Austrian ten-time grand prix-winner explained. “He reminds me of Ayrton – he's very switched on, very quick-thinking.
“I run a team in partnership with Red Bull, though, and shouldn't mix personal things with business.”