Lotus Renault GP is pleased to announce that Bruno Senna will drive the R31 in Friday’s first practice session during the Hungarian Grand Prix next weekend. After joining the team in February as a Third Driver, Bruno will have the one-off opportunity to get behind the wheel at a race weekend with LRGP, when he drives Nick Heidfeld’s car for the first 90-minute session.
Nick Heidfeld will return to the car to drive from FP2 onwards, alongside Vitaly Petrov.
27-year-old Bruno drove the R29 for LRGP earlier this year. He also drove the R31 in Jerez in February, and ran straight line aero testing on the car (R31) at Cambridgeshire’s Duxford circuit in May.
Eric Boullier: “We feel now is the right time to give Bruno a chance to drive for us during a Free Practice session. Although he’s done some mileage with our R29 and R31 already this year, driving in a Friday session will provide him invaluable experience with the R31 during a race weekend. It will also give us with a chance to see how Bruno adapts to driving during a competitive practice session. As of Free Practice 2, Nick will return to the car for the remainder of the weekend alongside Vitaly.”
Nick Heidfeld: “Firstly, I would like to say I’m fully behind the decision. Even though I would like to drive every session, it’s important for Third Drivers to have a chance to practice throughout the year; it is a good opportunity for Bruno to get some valuable race weekend practice time. I’m supportive of the team’s decision and look forward to returning to the car from FP2 onwards.”
Bruno Senna: “I’m really excited to be driving in FP1 at the Hungaroring. It’s not very often you get these opportunities with big teams, and I’m very grateful for getting this chance. Hopefully I can do a good job and show the team the potential I have, and help us move forward. I’ve done some productive work in the R31 already this year – though never during a race weekend - so I know the car layout well and I’m confident it will be a smooth transition. I’m looking forward to working with the team during the session to ensure a good car set-up for Nick when he resumes driving in FP2”.