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Missed Friday morning sessions have hurt - Senna

ESPN Staff
October 17, 2012 « Maldonado promises to do better if given 2013 contract | Wolff hopes test opens door for female drivers »
Valtteri Bottas has been driving Bruno Senna's car in Friday practice sessions this year © Sutton Images
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Bruno Senna says missing Friday morning practices at grands prix weekends this season has had a direct effect on his results this year.

Williams has handed Senna's car to test driver Valtteri Bottas during 12 Friday morning practice sessions this year, while team-mate Pastor Maldonado has taken part in all sessions. Senna said he had not expected the lack of running to have as big an effect as it has.

"You really miss the first session if you have a problem in another session or you have a wet session," he said. "All these things can put a dent on the weekend and considering how close Formula One is nowadays every tenth makes a few positions difference. Sometimes you can look really bad by being two tenths off your team-mate and you can look you've had a s*** qualifying, but not really because you've just missed two tenths and that's it.

"To be honest with you I never expected it to be so tough without the first session. Until it happens to you, you don't realise how much trouble it causes. But for sure it's not like I had much choice, I had to take that, and it was a good bet for me in terms of the team. Nowadays I have a different perspective on giving away all my Fridays of the year to someone else in the first session because if you have one little problem after that then that's it and the weekend is pretty much over.

"This has been an ongoing subject throughout the year between myself and the team, regarding missing so many Fridays, and they really understand that has put a big dent on my performances for some of the weekends."

Senna's future is uncertain beyond the end of the season, but he is hoping good results at the final four races will boost his chances of staying at Williams.

"You can make a difference for the next year at the next races," he said. "Sport is like this but Formula One even more, it's the last result that counts. If you get a race win then that's going to stay with you forever so it's important to keep pushing.

"Ideally I'd like to make sure I have a seat for next year and you always want to have a competitive car. In terms of racing I'm pretty sure that I've been racing at the same level as the top guys. But it's the results that really matter at the end of the day and if you get a couple of top fives then you're pretty okay for the future."

Senna said one target is to close eight-point gap to team-mate Maldonado before the end of the year.

"Of course you always want to be in front of your team-mate in the championship," he said. "This year I've been working very hard to score points and I've been chipping away at every weekend to get a point or two and some weekends it's been disappointing I haven't scored more. There are still four races to go, lots of points on the table and hopefully we can get very near him or in front.

"For sure if you score more points than the other guy it makes it very difficult for the team to start thinking about someone else. But Formula One is Formula One and lots of things can happen."