Bruno Senna has yet to convince in his big chance with Williams. Edd Straw talks to him about his struggles and asks whether he can make good on his potential.

This year was Bruno Senna’s big chance. It was make or break. For all the questions of whether his place on the Formula 1 grid owed more to his famous name and a wad of sponsorship dollars than his ability (despite winning races at GP2 and Formula 3 level), how the 28-year-old performed on track in 2012 was going to prove whether or not he had a future at the highest level. With nine races down, the numbers indicate that the dial on the career prospects meter is wavering over ‘break’.

Senna has been thumped by team-mate Pastor Maldonado. Even when you take into account that the Venezuelan is in his second season with Williams and that Senna has sat out six Friday-morning practice sessions to allow Valtteri Bottas seat time, there’s no arguing over the winner of the intra-team battle. Maldonado has outperformed Senna on the key performance indicators: points (29 to 18), qualifying (7 to 2) and best finish (first to sixth). The Brazilian can point to greater consistency thanks to his five top-10 finishes compared with Maldonado’s two, but that doesn’t carry much weight when his team-mate has infamously squandered handfuls of points.

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