Bruno Senna will partner Pastor Maldonado at the Williams team for the 2012 season, the outfit officially confirmed on Tuesday.
The second seat at Williams had been the subject of much speculation with many believing Rubens Barrichello had the best chance of securing it, having raced for the team since 2010.
However, the veteran of 322 race starts has been left out in the cold and is unlikely to find a seat for the year, with just one remaining at HRT – though Vitantonio Liuzzi has staked his claim to that.
Senna, having debuted in 2010 with the then Hispania outfit, switched to Renault in 2011 after replacing Nick Heidfeld for the Belgian GP onwards. He scored just two points, one less than his teammate, Vitaly Petrov, over the same period.
Speaking about Senna’s appointment, Frank Williams, Team Principal, said: “Bruno only started racing when he was 20 years old but quickly proved his talent in F3 and GP2. In a tightly fought 2008 GP2 season, Bruno finished second in the Championship with notable victories in Monaco and Silverstone, the latter in the wet. The circumstances of Bruno’s two seasons in Formula One have not given him an ideal opportunity to deliver consistently so it was essential that we spent as much time with him as possible to understand and evaluate him as a driver. We have done this both on track and in our simulator and he has proven quick, technically insightful and above all capable of learning and applying his learning quickly and consistently. Now we are looking forward to seeing that talent in our race car.”
Senna added: “I feel very privileged that Williams has selected me as one of their race drivers. The team has a great heritage and I hope I can help write a good chapter in their history. The evaluation process has been intense and methodical but the time I have spent in the factory has demonstrated that the team has great people and all the resources needed to achieve better things this season.
“It will be very interesting to drive for a team that my uncle has driven for, particularly as quite a few of the people here actually worked with Ayrton. Hopefully we can bring back some memories and create some great new ones too. I also want to get some good results in return for the support my country has given me to help get me to this position today. I am very proud to be Brazilian and more motivated than ever to demonstrate what I can do. Ever since I first sat in a go-kart I never wanted to do anything else.”