Terrible news for Bruno Senna!

Sakon Yamamoto will replace Bruno Senna The Hispania Racing Team has dropped the Brazilian rookie for this weekend’s race, and he will be replaced by the team’s test driver Sakon Yamamoto.

Team boss Colin Kolles announced the change late Thursday afternoon, and advised that the team would issue a full statement on Friday.

“A decision as to who will drive for Hispania for the rest of the season will be taken over the weekend,” he said.

This will mark Yamamoto’s first F1 start since he last drove for the Colles-run Spyker F1 squad in 2007.

Although the team hasn’t yet confirmed otherwise, the main issue would probably stem around sponsorship backing, with Yamamoto rumoured to be bringing some $5M to the table and with the team needing the funds to progress.

Senna’s seat with HRT pre-dates the management buy-out of the outfit formerly known as Campos Meta, where the Brazilian was signed in the hope that his surname would lure sponsors to the team. While his seat comes with some backing, it is believed that Yamamoto’s has effectively outbid him on this occasion.

Rumours of the team’s financial position have been simmering for some time, and team-mate Karun Chandhok might be looking over his shoulder with equal concern if the reason for the seat-changing is indeed monetary.

Either way, this presents a great opportunity for Yamamoto, but a great disappointment for Senna. Taking a pragmatic approach, $5M would do a lot of good for the underfunded outfit in their quest to improve their 2010 car.

[Original image via AUTOSPORT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.