Bruno Senna was never a contender to replace the injured Robert Kubica at Renault this year.
That is the explanation of team boss Eric Boullier, after Senna tested the R31 at Jerez following Heidfeld’s audition for the newly-available car number 9 race seat.
“Senna’s day of testing was not to evaluate him, but rather to give him some mileage to prepare him in his role as the third driver,” Boullier said at Jerez on the weekend.
The media made much of the fact that Brazilian Senna was significantly slower on Sunday than Heidfeld had managed 24 hours earlier.
Senna insists he was not disappointed.
“The work I did gives me new chances with the team for the future, and they seemed to like what I did,” said the former HRT racer.
Indeed, after his maiden outing with Honda more than two years ago, Jerez was only Senna’s second ever F1 test day.
“I was not competing with him,” he is quoted by Globo Esporte when asked about Heidfeld.
“I came here in my role as third driver. For preparation you need more than one day in the car — they need a driver that’s ready to do it,” added Senna.
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