Williams sign Senna for 2012 season

Formula One team Williams signed Brazilian driver Bruno Senna on Tuesday to complete its 2012 team lineup, returning the Senna name to the British outfit 18 years on.

Senna, the nephew of three-time F1 champion Ayrton Senna, joins Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado to give the British team an all-South American lineup going into the March 18 opener in Australia.

Ayrton Senna joined Williams from McLaren in 1994 and was fatally wounded during a crash at San Marino, only his third race with the team.

“It will be very interesting to drive for a team that my uncle has driven for, particularly as quite a few of the people here actually worked with Ayrton. Hopefully we can bring back some memories and create some great new ones, too,” Senna said in a statement. “I’m really happy to be a part of a team with such a fantastic heritage. I am very proud that Williams has chosen me to race in what will be an important year for them.”

Senna replaces fellow Brazilian driver Rubens Barrichello, who leaves the team after two seasons in which he picked up a combined 51 points, but only four last year.

“I wish my friend (Bruno Senna) all the best … the future is wide open,” the 40-year-old former Ferrari and Brawn driver wrote on Twitter.

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