Bruno Senna’s stock fell in Korea, mere weeks before Renault is due to decide its driver lineup for 2012.
The Brazilian, who replaced Nick Heidfeld five races ago, had a horror weekend in Korea, qualifying seven places behind Vitaly Petrov and finishing just in front of a Lotus.
With three races to go this season, the team’s fifth place in the constructors’ championship is probably safe, given the 23 point advantage over Force India.
But looking ahead to 2012, with Petrov, Romain Grosjean, Rubens Barrichello and of course Robert Kubica all also in the running for the seats, Senna’s Korean performance was bad news for the 28-year-old.
In his five races since replacing Heidfeld, he has scored points only at Monza.
And “Bruno’s 13th position (in Korea) doesn’t pay justice to the pace of the car”, said Renault engineer Ricardo Penteado in Korea.
An unnamed team official, meanwhile, told Germany’s Speed Week publication: “We need to analyse why Bruno Senna did not come up to speed.”