Bruno Senna ready for his Spa exam with Renault
Bruno Senna is ready for his 'toughest exam' in Formula One as he gets the chance to race at the iconic Spa track this weekend.
The nephew of Formula One legend Ayrton will get his first taste of race action since his debut season with HRT in 2010 at the Belgian Grand Prix, for Group Lotus-backed Renault – and the 27-year-old Brazilian cannot wait to get going.
'I am delighted that Lotus Renault GP has offered me the opportunity to become their race driver,' said Senna, who will replace Nick Heidfeld at Spa – and possibly beyond. 'I'm very motivated to get behind the wheel of the R31. I've gained a lot of experience thanks to the time spent with the team this season, and the opportunities I've had of driving in Jerez, Duxford and recently in Budapest have whet my appetite to become a successful driver for Lotus Renault GP.
'I am both excited and nervous – it feels like Christmas and my toughest exam have both arrived on the same day. I am really thrilled and motivated to be getting in the car to race in F1 again, especially with such a big team.
'Getting back to racing is something I've been craving for a while, and it's not often you get an opportunity like this with a team of this stature. I feel I am fully prepared to rise to the challenge, and I would like to thank the team for believing in me. I will not disappoint.'
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The sight of the Senna name in a black and gold, Lotus-liveried car will no doubt evoke memories of Ayrton's success for Team Lotus in his early Formula One career.
Bruno's start was a little less auspicious, spinning off during a wet free practice Friday around Spa – the first action since the August mid-season break.
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However, team principal Eric Boullier is confident Senna can impress alongside relatively inexperienced Russian Vitaly Petrov – and with Robert Kubica continuing his recovery from his terrible rally accident in February.
'We are happy to provide Bruno with the chance to begin racing with Lotus Renault GP, starting at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend,' said the Frenchman. 'He has proved himself to be an attentive member of the team since he joined almost seven months ago, and we are confident that he will demonstrate his ability alongside Vitaly.'