LONDON (Reuters) - Bruno Senna said he was proud of being the most consistent points scorer for Williams this season when reacting to the team’s announcement that he was losing his seat for 2013.
The Brazilian, who finished 16th in the drivers’ championship with 31 points in his first full season of racing, was ditched in favour of Williams test driver Valtteri Bottas who will join Venezuela’s Pastor Maldonado next season.
”Since the beginning of my program with Williams I accepted that I had to share the car with Valtteri Bottas in 15 Fridays as a part of his preparation for a likely debut in 2013“,” Senna said in a statement on Wednesday.
”It has been extremely satisfying to be the team’s most regular point scorer and for me to demonstrate my pace in all 20 races, added Senna who scored points in 10 of them.
“I have learned a lot and improved considerably through the season. I have had a relatively short career so far and feel as though I have come a long way in just a few years.”
Maldonado brings substantial sponsorship with him from his country’s state oil company PDVSA and is also a race winner after his pole-to-flag victory in Spain this year, former champions Williams’ first triumph since 2004.
He has proved accident prone, however, leading to suggestions that his financial muscle rather than his ability spared him the axe at the expense of Senna, nephew of the late triple world champion Ayrton Senna.
That suggestion was dismissed by Williams’ executive director Toto Wolff in a phone conference on Wednesday.
“I would rather have someone with big speed and a heavy right leg who makes mistakes rather than someone who can’t get that fast, you either have it or you don‘t, ” he said.
“Pastor has learned a lot from his mistakes which is difficult for a driver and I think we’ll see a much improved driver next year.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Alison Wildey