Bruno Senna has won the 2012 Lorenzo Bandini Trophy

Williams driver Bruno Senna has been announced as this year’s recipient of the Lorenzo Bandini Trophy, and he will receive his award at a special ceremony in the Italian town of Brisighella next month.

Now celebrating its twentieth anniversary, the Lorenzo Bandini Trophy is a prize awarded in memory of the late Italian racer by his hometown of Brisighella, near Imola.

Bruno will be the nineteenth recipient of this award. Previous recipients include a host of World Championship-winning drivers, such as Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, and Sebastian Vettel.

The award is traditionally given to a driver who has shown promise at the beginning of the Formula 1 career. Bandini was considered to be such a driver, although he only claimed one victory – the 1964 Austrian Grand Prix at Zeltweg – during an F1 career that spanned from 1961 to 1967, the year of his death.

As is custom, Senna will be expected to make the twelve-kilometre drive on the public roads from Faenza to Brisighella to reach the ceremony. Several past winners have done so behind the wheels of Formula 1 machinery, although it’s not yet known of Bruno will be allowed to do so.

“It’s a great honour to receive the Lorenzo Bandini Trophy, particularly when you consider the excellent racing drivers that have been awarded it in the past,” Senna said in a Williams media release.

“I would like to thank the people of Brisighella for their kind support and generosity as well as all of those who have helped me in my career so far. I’m very much looking forward to the prize giving ceremony next month, which promises to be a great event.”

In a 2011 season that saw the likes of Paul di Resta, Sergio Pérez, Jérôme d’Ambrosio, Daniel Ricciardo and Pastor Maldonado also classed as F1 rookies, the choice of Senna seems rather odd.

Perhaps none of the other five particularly stood out last year, but Senna’s part-season featured a single points finish a few top-ten qualifications, a start-line crash and a very clumsy contact with Michael Schumacher. Not exactly the stuff of legend…

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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.
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