Sakon Yamamoto has admitted he wants to clear the air with the man he temporarily displaced in the cockpit this weekend, Bruno Senna, after the Brazilian was inexplicably cast aside for the team’s Japanese test and reserve driver.
Yamamoto will make the fifteenth race start of his F1 career, and admitted that the late call-up to the role of race driver was a surprise.
“Normally when you get news that you are driving, as a driver you are very happy,” he told AUTOSPORT. “But it was too surprising that I was a bit shocked.
”I had to adapt quickly and concentrate for this weekend, and gather any information that I could. It wasn’t an easy day yesterday, but I worked with the mechanics, engineers and team members and slowly we could prepare everything for this morning. I was ready this morning,” he added.
The Japanese driver was under no illusions that his temporary appointment – rumoured to be part of a hefty stipend of yen from his Japanese sponsors – would have well and truly put Bruno’s nose out of joint, and Yamamoto sais he would speak to the man who had occupied the race seat for the first nine races of the team’s maiden season.
Senna, present this weekend at the British Grand Prix paddock, has shied away from the media spotlight and tried not to be drawn on the circumstances that see him miss his maiden F1 race at Silverstone, a circuit on which he won the GP2 sprint race in 2008.
“It was an internal decision,” is all he has said.
“They wanted to give an opportunity to Sakon for a while. There are four drivers in the team,” he added – possibly hinting that we could see the team’s other Friday driver, Christian Klien, in the cockpit at some stage.
“I understand how [Bruno] feels as a racing driver and I want to talk him a bit later on when things have calmed down a bit,” Sakon said. “At this moment it is very hard to speak to each other, I believe.
“It is a bit of strange circumstances, but personally we have had good relations since I joined this team. He was always nice, and that’s why… I don’t know what he thinks, but I want to speak with him later on.”
Perhaps providing some small consolation for Senna, Yamamoto ended his opening day of the British Grand Prix at the bottom of the free practice timesheets, and admitted that he still had to adapt to slick F1 tyres.
“I know I need to improve in a lot of areas,” Sakon said, while admitting he was happy with his day’s efforts. “When we switched to the soft option tyre we lost a lot of time compared to Karun.
“This definitely comes from [a lack of] experience because I never drove on these kind of slick tyres. Still we are in middle of the weekend so I just have to look forward and keep going step-by-step.”
[Original image via AUTOSPORT]