GP2 Series runner-up Bruno Senna has said that he still considers Honda a viable option for a Formula One race seat in 2009, despite opportunities in the top flight continuing to close on him.
Two teams linked to the Brazilian in recent weeks, BMW Sauber and Williams, have announced unchanged line-ups for next season in the past few days, but neither was seriously offering him a chance to race in the top flight, unlike his fourth option, Scuderia Toro Rosso.
While many believe that the Italian Grand Prix winners provides the best chance of Senna following in the illustrious footsteps on his world championship-winning uncle, the Brazilian insists that Honda also remains a viable option, despite team boss Ross Brawn holding out for an opportunity to land Fernando Alonso should he decide to leave Renault. Honda has not confirmed either Jenson Button or Rubens Barrichello for 2009, although it is widely expected that one - most likely Button - will be retained.
Senna, who provided the best opposition to GP2 champion Giorgio Pantano this season, is keen to graduate to a race seat and says he will continue to pursue the possibilities that remain open to him.
"I'm doing everything I can to convince them I'm their best option," the 24-year old told Reuters
, "The possibilities are good and the competition in some cases is not that big.
"As an official [race] driver, [Toro Rosso and Honda] are the more real options, but there are [other] options as test driver and we're going to see what kind of contract they want to sign."
It is unclear where, outside of Honda and STR, testing options remain and, with BMW Sauber and Williams retaining the services of Christian Klien and Nico Hulkenberg respectively, two of the teams to have expressed an interest in Senna appear to have closed off potential avenues. Red Bull Racing could be searching for a replacement for Sebastien Buemi, should the Swiss driver - who trailed Senna in the GP2 points - get the nod to replace Sebastian Vettel at Toro Rosso, while both the Italian team and backmarker Force India could have similar openings.
Senna has said that, should a testing role be his only option, he would return to GP2 for a third campaign, but admits that he is currently more interested in landing a race seat in F1 for 2009.
"I think I've been through every kind of difficulty a person can get in a year, and that made my character a little bit stronger, for sure," he said of a frustrating season in the feeder series, but admits that his lack of racing experience -he has only been on the single-seater ladder since 2004 - and the unexpected burden of his famous name might count against him.
"It's the question of pressure, demand, expectation," he pointed out, "[My name] never helped when pressure is concerned, because people used to compare me to Ayrton. That's not exactly fair, considering I've just begun to race but, for sure, it helps more, as people are always watching. It opens everyone's eyes in Formula One in a different way."