Bruno Senna will drive for Williams in 2012

Bruno Senna will drive for Williams in 2012, Photo by PH-Stop

Williams have today, 17th of January, announced that their vacant seat for 2012 will be filled by Bruno Senna.

Senna gets the seat ahead of other hopefuls Adrian Sutil and countryman Rubens Barrichello. It now looks as if both drivers Sutil and Barrichello are unlikely to be driving next season with the only available seat at HRT alongside Pedro De La Rosa.

It seems unlikely that either Sutil or Barichello would want the seat at HRT however and it would seem likely that with one experienced driver in De la Rosa HRT are likely to bring in a driver with a large amount of sponsorship. The only other chance is Trulli’s seat at Caterham that some think may be insecure but which Petrov has been linked to, who was also an outside bet for the Williams seat.

Many will see Williams decision as one made in order to maximise the amount of sponsorship they get, Maldonado is widely regarded as having the seat almost purely due to the amount of sponsorship he brings to the team and Senna likewise is thought to bring sponsorship, though he actually has more experience than Maldonado and impressed more in 2011 desperate racing only 8 times.

It may be however that Williams have been forced to ensure they have plenty of sponsorship to ensure they have a future at all: they have lost title sponsor AT&T over the winter and there is a slight doubt over whether Maldonado will bring in the money that the Venezuelan national oil company, PDVSA, are meant to be paying Williams in sponsorship, on the basis of Venezuelan driver Maldonado being in the team. Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela was instrumental to putting together the long term deal with Williams, the Venezuelan Congress are now however investigating the deal and some think that it could be declared illegal and therefore null and void.

Embratel of Brazil are backers of Bruno Senna and may come in as a title sponsor to fill any funding gaps, a deal yet to be announced but likely: whether Williams will benefit more from the money than they would from a more experienced driver though remains to be seen as whether Maldonado will stay in the car if the PDSVA deal is cancelled also remains to be seen so Barrichello and Sutil should perhaps not give up hope quite yet, though much depends on the contents of Maldonado’s contract.

January 17, 2012 at 1:30 pm by admin
Category: F1 News
Tags: Barrichello, embratel, maldonado, PDVSA, senna, sutil, Williams, williams grand prix engineering