Bruno Senna will drive the second Williams car during the 2012 Formula 1 season, as the team finally announced who will partner Pastor Maldonado.
Senna, the nephew of three-time World Champion Ayrton, made his grand prix debut with the Hispania team back in 2010, but could not secure a seat for the start of the 2011 season. He eventually replaced Nick Heidfeld at the Renault team from last year's Belgian Grand Prix, but the team decided to hire Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean for the 2012 season. Senna managed two points in eight races during 2011.
After months of speculation, Williams confirmed on Tuesday that the 28-year-old Brazilian will race alongside Maldonado this year. Senna will make his debut with the team on Feb. 9 at Jerez during the first test of the year.
"Bruno only started racing when he was 20 years old but quickly proved his talent in F3 and GP2," said Frank Williams. "In a tightly fought 2008 GP2 season, Bruno finished second in the championship with notable victories in Monaco and Silverstone, the latter in the wet. The circumstances of Bruno's two seasons in Formula 1 have not given him an ideal opportunity to deliver consistently, so it was essential that we spent as much time with him as possible to understand and evaluate him as a driver.
"We have done this both on track and in our simulator and he has proven quick, technically insightful and above all capable of learning and applying his learning quickly and consistently. Now we are looking forward to seeing that talent in our racecar."
Senna added: "I feel very privileged that Williams has selected me as one of its race drivers. The team has a great heritage and I hope I can help write a good chapter in their history. The evaluation process has been intense and methodical but the time I have spent in the factory has demonstrated that the team has great people and all the resources needed to achieve better things this season.
"It will be very interesting to drive for a team that my uncle has driven for, particularly as quite a few of the people here actually worked with Ayrton. Hopefully we can bring back some memories and create some great new ones, too.
"I also want to get some good results in return for the support my country has given me to help get me to this position today. I am very proud to be Brazilian and more motivated than ever to demonstrate what I can do. Ever since I first sat in a go-kart I never wanted to do anything else."
The move means Rubens Barrichello looks set to be absent from Formula 1 for the first time in 20 years. The Brazilian posted on Twitter after the announcement that his "future is wide open."