Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Robert Kubica: The cat with nine lives

It's the 10 September 2006, and Robert Kubica has just become the first Polish driver to lead a Grand Prix as well as the first Pole to finish on the podium. A remarkable achievement considering it was only his third race start.

Kubica, from Krakow in Poland, was drafted into the BMW Sauber team as a replacement for Jacques Villeneuve after the 1997 world champion parted with the German-Swiss outfit. Kubica had been working as test and reserve driver for the first part of the season making him the ideal candidate to take over the vacant race seat. An impressive debut part-season led to his retention for 2007, a season where Kubica was to constantly finish in points scoring positions resulting in a sixth place finish in the championship.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Volkswagen enjoy a strong start to their WRC adventure

Volkswagen may have described 2013 as 'a learning year' for their new factory effort, but few were surprised to see Sebastien Ogier finish second in the season opening Monte Carlo Rally last weekend, the German manufacturer's first event as a full factory World Rally Championship team.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Pedro De La Rosa joins Ferrari

Former HRT driver Pedro De La Rosa has joined Scuderia Ferrari as a development driver for the 2013 season.

The Spaniard, 41, joins compatriots Fernando Alonso and Marc Gene at the Italian squad. He is expected to work almost exclusively on the simulator after team principle Sefano Domenicali confirmed his signing was to 'strengthen one area, namely work in the simulator'. He brings valuable experience to the role after carrying out simulator work for rival squad McLaren in the past.
Making his debut for backmarkers Arrows in 1999 before going on to compete with Jaguar and Sauber, De La Rosa spent six years as a test driver for McLaren where he competed in nine races for the British squad, deputising for Juan Pablo Montoya in both 2005 and 2006. Firstly due to a tennis injury to the Columbian, and secondly after he left in 2006 to race in NASCAR.

Already known to Ferrari engineers after running the Prancing Horse's engines at Sauber, De La Rosa took to twitter to give his thanks to his new employers.

In addition to their new signing, Scuderia Ferrari announced the launch date of their 2013 challenger with the new car set to be unveiled on the 1st of February. Domenicali, speaking at Ferrari's annual 'Wrooom!' press event also confirmed that Jules Bianchi, Davide Rigon, Andrea Bertolini as well as Gene would remain as test and development drivers despite the new signing. There was no word on Giancarlo Fisichella however. The Italian, who turned 40 this week, has been with the Scuderia in a testing role since the latter part of 2009, also racing for the squad in that year.* Domenicali spoke about Jules Bianchi's future too, stating they were 'trying to find a role for him in F1'. *UPDATE: Giancarlo Fisichella's presence at this week's 'Wrooom!' press event suggests that he wil infact be part of the Scuderia Ferrari team for 2013

Thursday, 10 January 2013

What is driving a Formula One car really like?

The Ferrari left a lasting impression
'It's just driving a car' or 'I can do that, easily', just two of many phrases people say about Formula One who don't appreciate just how different it is to driving on the roads. In fact, my sister is adamant that she'd be amazing driving a Formula One car given the chance. 

Michael Lewis Interview

Recently I was given the opportunity to interview Euro F3 race winner Michael Lewis. The American star shared his experience of his Ferrari F1 test as well as his F3 exploits: