Yamamoto replaces Senna for 2010 British GP – Updated

Sakon Yamamoto HRT

Sakon Yamamoto - The HRT race driver for 2010 British GP

In a move that surprised many HRT decided to replace Bruno Senna with Sakon Yamamoto for 2010 British GP. Well, July is the month when F1 drivers often get fired. But to do this on the eve of Grand Prix weekend is rather unusual.

Yamamoto’s deal is at the moment for one race only. The decision on who will drive for the team for the rest of the season is to be made sometime this weekend. That sounds like bad news for Bruno Senna as while the announcement suggests that Yamamoto only has a one race deal it does not indicate that Senna was dropped for this one race only …


There was nothing in the air suggesting this was going to happen. Only few hours prior to the announcement Bruno Senna tweeted about his bicycle ride around the track with Karun Chandhok … This decision is very likely money oriented, James Allen hinted in the comments on his site that Yamamoto deal may have something to do with some sort of Toyota deal …

Bruno Senna 2010 European GP

Bruno Senna in Valencia, will we see him racing in F1 anytime soon ?

Well, with the return of a pay drivers to F1 we probably have to get used again to drivers being dropped for reasons other than performance. Tough luck for Bruno Senna. At the time when Adrian Campos signed him for what was then Campos Meta team it was said that Senna is not expected to bring any money in The team obviously hoped to attract some sponsors with Senna on board. That does not seem to have worked…

Sakon Yamamoto 2006 German GP

Sakon Yamamoto - Drivers Parade Before 2006 German GP

Sakon Yamamto (who is celebrating his 28th birthday today) laste raced in F1 with Spyker in 2007 Brazilian GP. A year earlier he replaced Franck Montagny in Super Aguri from German GP and competed in 7 races for the Japanese outfit.

Update:
HRT issued following statement:

Hispania Racing, HRT F1 Team has decided to give an opportunity to one of its four drivers, Sakon Yamamoto, for this race, the British Grand Prix.

In respect to the rumors about Bruno Senna’s current states with Hispania Racing, HRT F1 Team, the team wants to confirm that Bruno Senna has all the support of the Spanish team, that he remains one of the Hispania Racing, HRT F1 Team official drivers and that he will be continuing to drive in the remaining races of the 2010 Formula 1 World Championship.

Sakon Yamamoto is back in action for Hispania Racing, HRT F1 Team on his 28th birthday after he was already running in the first practice session of the Turkish Grand Prix in 2010. He got his first taste of F1 in 2005, as the Friday test driver for Jordan GP at the Japanese Grand Prix. After continuing to race in Formula Nippon and Super GT series in 2006, he also earned a full-time F1 race drive with the Super Aguri F1 Team. The following year he joined the GP2 Series while testing for the Super Aguri F1 Team and also racing for the Spyker F1 Team from the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards. In 2008, Sakon joined the Renault F1 team’s development driver programme while continuing to race in GP2 and the GP2 Asia series where he also continued racing in 2009.

Well, if they planned giving Yamamoto chance to race why they only told the world (and Bruno Senna) only in the last minute ? Bizzare …

Photos: HRT, F1Wolf

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