JANUARY 31, 2011
Renault names Senna and Grosjean as third drivers
At the launch of the new Renault R31 at Valencia today, the team also announced it's new driver lineup, naming Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean as third drivers. The team also announced Jan Charouz, Ho-Pin Tung and Fairuz Fauzy as the team's reserve drivers.
Bruno Senna joins Renault after racing for the fledgling HRT team in F1 last season.
Senna said, "It's a great moment for me. I've been trying to get into a good Formula 1 programme for a couple of years so it feels great to be joining such an established team. I'm proud of this achievement and thankful for the opportunity that I've been given."
"It's probably the most attractive colour scheme in Formula 1 history. Black and gold looked beautiful back in the 1980s, when my uncle was racing, and they look just as stunning on a current car. Also, to be able to wear the same colours that my uncle used for a few years in his career feels very special."
"Everyone is optimistic that the team will take a big jump forward in performance this year. This year will be all about integrating myself with the team and extracting the most I can from being in such a competitive environment. Being part of this project will give me so much valuable experience and it's down to me to make the most of it. I hope that I can develop myself and prove to the team that I should be given an opportunity for the future."
Romain Grosjean was a previous Renault protege and was slotted in to race for the team mid-season in 2009, after Flavio Briatore fired Nelson Piquet for not performing. Grosjean also struggled, and was dropped by the team at the end of the season. He was a free agent, and raced in GP2 last season - and was picked up by the Gravity organisation, owned by Genii Capital which has since taken over control of the Renault F1 team. Grosjean will also race a full season in GP2 this year with the DAMS team.
Grosjean said, "It's a great opportunity for me to be back in Formula 1 because my dream is to try and get back on the grid. It's a good time to be here because this team is getting stronger and everybody saw how much the car improved last year. Now, with the arrival of Lotus as a partner, there is a real buzz about this team and it's exciting to be a part of it."
"There are always things to learn in Formula 1, especially these days when drivers have even less time in the cars. Just going to the engineering meetings will be valuable and I know I can learn a lot by listening to Robert and Vitaly talk about the car."
"I will be racing for DAMS this year, starting off in GP2 Asia and then doing the main GP2 series. It's something I'm really looking forward to because there is a new GP2 car for 2011 and new Pirelli tyres, so it will be a fresh start for everybody. The team is very motivated and we will be pushing hard to try and win the title."