Archive for Senna

Bottas in – cue the hashtags…

Posted in Drivers with tags , , , , , , on November 28, 2012 by philcurryf1

Valtteri Bottas has been announced as Williams second driver for 2013, replacing Bruno Senna after one season. The team will keep Pastor Maldonado.

Williams has found a strong talent I feel in Bottas, who ran in most first practice sessions this year, and quite often matched Maldonado on pace. Therefore, it was inevitable that he would get a race seat with the team for 2013.

Yet I feel the decision as to which driver the team replaced shows just how much Maldonado’s money, rather than his experience, is needed. Of course, Bruno Senna brought the team some funding too from his sponsors, but Maldonado makes the team budget with his backing from PDVSA.

Looking over the 2012 season results however, and Senna was the more consistent driver – despite not running in most of the FP1 sessions. He finished in the points in 10 of the 20 races this season, with a highest position of 6th, and scoring 31 points. Maldonado finished in the points in just five races, with his win in Spain, taking his points total to 45. Had he not won that race, he would have been quite some way behind Senna. Maldonado also had a number of penalties, collisions with other drivers, and was demoted 10 places on the grid in Brazil for his third reprimand of the season, for missing the weigh-bridge call. While this may have been a team issue, had he not been cautioned over collisions in the season, a drop would never have occurred.

It remains to be seen where Senna will go, if he is able to find a seat. Caterham no longer need a driver to bring sponsorship – though it would of course help – while Force India and Marussia are the only other teams (of those certain to be racing in 2013) with seats available (although Marussia is expected to name Max Chilton soon).

Bottas will make a good start next season, and deserves his place at Williams. Don’t be surprised if he outpaces, and even out scores, his more experienced, and richer, team-mate.

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