x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

The Sennas' Silverstone curse strikes

Bruno Senna has been denied the chance to race at Silverstone this weekend by his own team, Hispania Racing.

Silverstone was something of an unlucky track for Ayrton Senna, the three-time world champion. The Brazilian won only once here in 10 attempts during his illustrious career. It seems bad luck at the British Grand Prix runs in the Senna family; his nephew, Bruno, has been denied the chance to race at Silverstone this weekend by his own team, Hispania Racing. The team chose to race Sakon Yamamoto, the Japanese reserve driver, alongside Karun Chandhok, leaving Senna to kick his heels in the pitlane.

Hispania offered no clear explanation for why Senna, who has finished only two of the first nine races this season, had been removed from the car. Senna and Colin Kolles, the Hispania team principle, were yesterday unavailable for comment. A statement from Hispania, though, said the measure was not permanent and Senna would return for the next round of the championship in Germany in two weeks' time.

"The team wants to confirm that Bruno Senna has all the support of the Spanish team, that he remains one of the Hispania Racing team's official drivers and that he will be continuing to drive in the remaining races," the statement said. Yamamoto, who turned 28 yesterday, will start his 15th race in Formula One tomorrow. He previously drove for the Super Aguri and the Spyker teams, and his best result is a 12th-placed finish in the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix.

He struggled yesterday in practice, setting a fastest time of 1min 38.303secs, which was seven seconds slower than the fastest time set by Mark Webber's Red Bull-Renault. Yamamota's time was 1.2secs off the pace of Chandhok. gcaygill@thenational.ae