Ayrton Senna’s nephew signs with Williams

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Ayrton Senna’s nephew signs with Williams

MADRID - Nearly 18 years after the death of triple world champion Ayrton Senna in a high-speed crash, the Senna name is returning to the Williams Formula One team.

Senna’s 28-year-old nephew, Bruno, signed a one-year deal to partner Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado and give the British team an all-South American lineup going into the March 18 opener in Australia.

While Bruno Senna doesn’t carry the success or aura his uncle Ayrton commanded, the Sao Paulo, Brazil, native does provide one of the most valuable names in F1 to a team looking to regain its luster after one of its worst seasons.

“This is very much a family business in our case and everyone is super happy about it,’’ a “thrilled’’ Senna told reporters on a conference call on Tuesday, when he suggested the pressure was already on.

“Last year was the worst of their history and they don’t want a repeat of that. It is very important for them to have a very good year this year, and the pressure is on everybody.’’

Ayrton Senna joined Williams from McLaren in 1994 and was fatally wounded during a crash at San Marino, only his third race with the team. AP

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