Posted by Carrot on July 9, 2010 | No Comments
Odd as it sounds, it’s the major bombshell of the first day of the British Grand Prix. Hispania Racing Team released a statement that said, “Hispania have decided to give an opportunity to one of its four drivers, Sakon Yamamoto, for this race, the British Grand Prix. Bruno Senna will continue to drive in the remaining races.”
Senna himself appeared as surprised as the rest of us at this announcement when he arrived at Silverstone. Senna’s management have categorically denied that he has been fired by the struggling HRT outfit. Bruno has yet to make an official public statement concerning his sudden removal from a race cockpit.
The lack of clarification from Hispania and a noticeable silence from the Senna camp have put the rumour mill into overdrive. Some are recalling the dismissal of four time Champ Car series winner Sébastien Bourdais from Toro Rosso last year after a bitter falling out within the team. Others are noting the huge financial bonus that Yamamoto could be bringing to the team in exchange for a short time in a race cockpit, a literal return to the pay driver days of old.
The silence from Bruno Senna certainly suggests that he was not informed of this decision in advance and if there weren’t any ill feelings in the team beforehand then this incident could certainly lead to some. This could also mean that HRT are in worse financial trouble than was suspected if they need a cash boost so badly. Handling this situation in the manner they have could also mean that HRT are causing problems for themselves, if they’re finding a hard time attracting sponsors to the team it’s not the best move in the world to risk angering Senna’s sponsor portfolio that includes Brazilian phone company Embratel.