Bruno Senna will join Pastor Maldonado at Williams F1 in the 2012 FIA Formula 1 season, having been confirmed today as the replacement for Rubens Barrichello.

The confirmation ends speculation that he may miss out on the 2012 season after his former employer, Lotus Renault GP, signed on with Kimi Raikkonen.

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1983, Bruno only started racing professionally when he was 20 years of age but quickly proved his talent in F3 and GP2. In a tightly fought 2008 GP2 season, he finished second in the Championship with notable victories in Monaco and Silverstone, the latter in the wet.

His past seasons in F1 have not been the greatest, though Williams hopes to change that this year. After hearing of the announcement, Bruno said, “I feel very privileged that Williams has selected me as one of their 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.

Bruno will make his debut with Williams in Jerez, Spain on February 9 at the start of winter testing for the team. The 2012 F1 season kicks off in Australia on March 18.

Interestingly, Rubens Barrichello made his F1 debut back in 1993 where he was mentored by the legendary Ayrton Senna, Bruno’s late uncle.