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A family business

February 15th, 2009

Bruno & Ayrton SennaWith all the rumours about his possible signing for Honda we’ve been seeing a lot of pictures of the young Senna and I’m often struck by how much he looks like his uncle, especially when he’s wearing his helmet.  Not only does he have the most famous surname in Formula One but when he puts on that familiar yellow lid he looks like him too!

There are a few young drivers at the moment following in their fathers’ footsteps.

Nico Rosberg is the son of Finnish 1982 World Champion Keke Rosberg.  He impressed by winning the first GP2 Championship in 2005 and moved to the Williams F1 team in 2006.  Apparently he achieved the highest ever score on the the Engineering Aptitude Test, administered to all new Williams drivers.  2006 started well for the young Rosberg; he scored points in his first Grand Prix at Bahrain and became the youngest driver in F1 history to set a fastest lap.  The rest of the season didn’t go quite so well and he had to wait until 2008 to get his first podium finish; 3rd in Australia.

The son of another Brazilian triple World Champion, Nelson Piquet Junior raced against Nico Rosberg in the 2005 GP2 series and finished second to Lewis Hamilton in the 2006 GP2 Championship.  Piquet made the move to Formula One in 2007 as test driver for Renault, gaining a full race seat the following year.  2008 was a difficult rookie season for Piquet with seven retirements, but he scored his first points with a 7th place finish at the French Grand Prix and claimed his first podium with second at the German Grand Prix.  This was enough for Renault to sign him for another year in 2009 alongside Fernando Alonso.

Outside of Formula One, Martin Brundle’s son, Alex, finished fifth in last year’s Formula Palmer Audi series, Damon Hill’s son, Josh, won the 2008 Ginetta Junior Winter Championship and four-time World Champion Alain Prost’s son, Nicolas, won the 2008 Euroseries 3000 championship.  In America, Marco Andretti is carrying on the Andretti tradition in A1GP and Bobby Rahal’s son Graham is racing in IndyCar.

In 1993 Ayrton Senna famously said:

If you think I’m good, just wait until you see my nephew.

If the Honda rumours are true, maybe we will.

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