Bruno Senna answered his critics on Saturday after he managed to qualify not only ahead of his teammate, Vitaly Petrov, but ahead of Fernando Alonso to take seventh.
A shaky start on Friday saw the Brazilian crash in uncertain conditions, but that didn’t dent his confidence as he sailed through to Q3 and managed a best lap of 1:51.121.
He said he hadn’t expected to make the top ten on his debut with Renault, having replaced Nick Heidfeld.
“Getting into the top 10 in the first qualifying session that I did this year was surprisingly good, to be honest,” he is quoted as saying by Adam Cooper. “I was confident in the wet, not so confident in the dry, but it turned out in the dry we had a good pace as well.
“I told the team on the radio that I wasn’t going to try anything outstanding in Q3.”
The former-HRT driver hopes to have a good race on Sunday but is wary of his inexperience, compared to those around him.
“I think if the conditions are stable, it’s much easier for me. If conditions are changeable all the time, then it’s going to be very, very difficult. I have to still to learn the dry tyres and high fuel. Or even wet tyres and high fuel. Everybody else has a few more races than I do. So I think step by step, and hopefully tomorrow we’ll get a good result.”