An interview with Bruno Senna, who will drive for Mahindra Racing in the FIA Formula E championship.
The Senna name is synonymous with motorsport. Following the announcement of the Mahindra Racing driver line-up, Bruno Senna will be on the grid for the inaugural season of the FIA Formula E Championship. We caught up with him to get his thoughts…
How does it feel to be announced as an official Formula E driver?
The championship is very new and unique. What are your expectations of what the car will be like to drive and what the racing will be like?
I’ve been asking questions to everyone I know that has driven the car and the consensus is that the car is very nice to drive but the learning curve is big. Driving a single-seater on 18-inch wheels and radial tyres will be very different from anything we’ve ever driven, so I’m very curious to see how it handles.
Do you have any experience of driving an electric vehicle, even if it’s just an electric go-kart?
I haven’t yet driven an all-electric car, so this will be my first time without the familiar internal combustion engine noise. It should be interesting to hear the road noise, tyre screeches and all other noises we completely ignore that exist.
It’s been a while since you last raced a single-seater, you must be looking forward to being able to see the front wheels again…
Your team-mate is Karun Chandhok. The two of you were Formula One team-mates at HRT. I know you get on well, how important will strong teamwork be in Formula E?
It’s third time lucky with me and Karun. We raced in GP2 and Formula One together in the past, so we kept a good friendship which always helps things on the relationship side inside the team. I think that with all that’s going to change for us being in this new series, we’ll have to work very well and hard together to extract as much data and experience as possible from the car and team.
Unfortunately the race in Rio has been postponed this year, that must be disappointing for you, but where else on the calendar are you looking forward to racing?
It’s a shame the race isn’t going to happen, but better not to race there than race without the right conditions, so I guess racing back in Monaco will be my favourite during the championship. Definitely Monaco is one of my favourites and I think we’ll have lots of fun driving on a more familiar track.
Your very first win (is this true?) was on the streets of Macau. How challenging is it going to be purely racing on street tracks especially with all the sessions taking place in one day?
My very first podium finish was in Macau. I finished second there during my first and only Formula Renault race, which was a complete mess. Since I moved on from F3, I’ve been generally at home on street circuits, winning in GP2 at Monaco back in 2008 so I think it should be a question of time, adapting back to these types of tracks. Definitely overtaking and strategy will play a huge role on those races.
You’re racing for Mahindra which is representing the hopes of India, which must be a great honour…
It’s pretty cool to be racing for Mahindra. They’ve come into Moto 2 and won races very early on, so I know they have the same hunger going on right now for Formula E. They want to win it as much as I do and this is very important from my perspective when choosing a racing team.
Both you and Mahindra have a huge following on social media, do you think this is going to help you in the Fan Boost voting?
(Laughing) I hope so…every little helps and I’ll definitely get my fans revved-up for that extra boost! In motor racing we have to create our own luck and if this is a factor, I hope we can use it in our favour.
FIA Formula E