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Senna to test Honda.

Honda Racing F1 has confirmed that it will give 2008 GP2 Series runner-up Bruno Senna his first experience of a modern Formula One car when it evaluates the Brazilian's potential at the wheel of one of its RA108s in Barcelona later this month.

Senna, who finished second to Giorgio Pantano in GP2 this season, has tried his famous uncle's Lotus and McLaren machinery at demonstration events in the past, but will get the chance to stake his claim to a race seat in the top flight for 2009 when he joins Honda at its first test of the winter at the Circuit de Catalunya from 17-19 November.

Despite his comparative lack of experience in international motorsport - he started his single-seater career by testing an FBMW car in 2004 before racing F3 in 2005 - the Brazilian has been the subject of much speculation linking him to an F1 seat for 2009, initially with Scuderia Toro Rosso and BMW Sauber and, most strongly of late, with Honda.

The Barcelona test will include a chance for the 25-year old to familiarise himself with the car and its systems before progressing to a full programme during which the team will evaluate his performance, technical skill and ability to work with a large team organisation.

“We are delighted to provide Bruno with the opportunity to test for us later this month as we continue to explore all the driver options available to us for next season," team principal Ross Brawn, who has made no secret of the team's pursuit of Fernando Alonso, confirmed, "After an impressive year in GP2, this will be a chance for Bruno to prove that he is ready to make the step up to Formula One.

"Our objective is to have the best drivers available to us next season and our evaluation of Bruno's performance will be rigorous. We are looking forward to seeing how he performs. Over the next two weeks, Bruno will be spending a lot of time with us at our Brackley base, working closely with our engineers and on the simulator to ensure he is fully prepared for this important test.”

Although the RA108 has been far from the best car in F1 this season, it will provide Senna with a chance to prove that he is worthy of a seat at Honda next season, although who he may replace remains far from clear. Jenson Button has hinted that his future is secure, with the rumour mill suggesting that the Briton will be confirmed at Honda once the identity of his team-mate is known, while veteran Rubens Barrichello - a protégé of Ayrton Senna in the early 1990s - insists that he is far from ready to retire and, having out-performed Button of late, reckons that he deserves to remain in the top flight.

Senna, meanwhile, is eager to show what he can do.

“I am obviously very excited about being given my first Formula One test, and to have that opportunity with Honda is a dream come true," he noted, aware that his uncle had a storied career with the Japanese marque.

"Although I am still only in my fourth year of motor racing, I have wanted to test an F1 car for a very long time and I feel that I am ready for that challenge. I have already spent some time at the factory in Brackley and have enjoyed meeting the team and working with the engineers to prepare for this test. Everyone has been very supportive and it is particularly special for me to have the chance to work with Ross Brawn.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Bruno Senna - iSport International   [pic credit: GP2 Series]
Ayrton Senna - McLaren. 1993 Donington Park
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and his girlfriend Brittny Ward (USA)

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rich ard

November 03, 2008 1:47 PM

bonzo, yes rubens and button have been pretty dire, but senna and piquet???? honda would really have to be clutching at straws. bourdais??? possibly. he has underperformed at str or maybe it is just that seb v is such a talent. i know that i write him off, but maybe he could find a seat in honda,at least he has a years experience in F1. i dont think that the honda is quite such a dog as is made out, i feel it is a serious lack of motivation in the drivers which is their biggest problem. i would love to be proven wrong!

Gaz - Unregistered

November 03, 2008 10:31 AM

I kind of agree with you Bonzo Dog. Neither Jenson nor Rubens have set the world on fire this season but IMO, of the two, it should be Rubens that is kept and Jenson dumped. Rubens's podium at Silverstone (was it?) was a great performance and he has never given up this season and he derserves another chance. Jenson, has done nothing special with the Honda this year. Saying that, the car was terrible this year. With regards to Bruno, the Honda test is great news. It will finally give him the chance to show what he can do and I am sure he will do well. A Petrobras/Honda/Senna deal is a dream deal for F1 and the Senna name. All the best of luck Bruno and I hope to see you in F1 in 09.

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