The mini battle for the remaining race seat at Williams F1 has concluded. The Grove based team has announced that Bruno Senna will partner Pastor Maldonado in the 2012 season. Those who lost out include last year’s man Rubens Barrichello, ex Force India man Adrian Sutil, dropped Toro Rosso youngster Jaime Alguersuari and Tonio Liuzzi.

The nephew of three-time world champ Ayrton made his F1 debut with Hispania back in 2010, but was left without a seat for 2011. He came into the picture after Lotus Renault GP dropped Nick Heidfeld in Belgium, managing eight races, but the team, now called Lotus, have Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean for 2012. The 28-year-old Brazilian will make his debut with Williams on 9 February at Jerez for 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. 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 F1 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,” said Frank Williams.

“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 race car,” the founder added.

Driving aside, Senna is bringing sponsorship money to Williams as well, including from long-time supporter Embratel, but he insists that it wasn’t about money. “I am sure about that. They have been putting us through the paces with all sorts of testing, and they did not even talk about the sponsorship at the start – they wanted to assess me before anything else,” he told Autosport.