Fisichella Motor Sport International is pleased to confirm that it has completed its driver line-up for the 2008 Formula BMW Europe Championship with the signing of 17-year-old Romanian Mihai Marinescu. Mihai will join Ollie Millroy and Pedro Bianchini to race for the Italian team in the brand new series.
Beginning in karts at the age of nine, Mihai was twice recognised by the Romanian Sporting Authority for his karting successes. He began his single-seater career in 2004 with his entry into the Formula Renault 1.6 Winter Trophy, where he finished in third place. He competed in the Italian and Belgian Formula Renault 1.6 championships in 2005, finishing in second and third places respectively.
Mihai then moved up to Formula Renault 2.0 in 2006, finishing sixth in the North European Championship and 11th in the Italian championship, as well as competing four rounds of the French series. Last year Mihai competed the Italian and European championships for a second year running, finishing in fifth and 11th positions respectively. He supplemented that with two races in the British Formula Three National Class, notching up a podium, and also competed in the Bucarest round of the FIA GT championship, where he finished third in class. The Formula BMW Europe Championship will see Mihai embarking on his biggest challenge to date.
Formula BMW Europe will make its debut in 2008 following the merger of the Formula BMW Germany and Formula BMW UK series. Appearing on the support package for seven Formula 1 Grands Prix, Formula BMW Europe will see drivers from all over Europe in 13 three-car teams battle it out for prize money of 100,000 Euro, and a chance to impress on a prestigious stage. The young drivers will race in identical FB02 cars, powered by a 140bhp BMW engine and capable of speeds up to 230km/h.
Mihai Marinescu: "I am very happy to be racing in the new Formula BMW Championship and it is a great honour to sign with Fisichella Motor Sport. This will be a new challenge for me but I am ready to face it, and to be doing it with such a good team gives me a chance to get closer to my dream of Formula One. I have raced on some of the circuits in the championship before which will help, with Spa and Monza being my favourite ones. My objective for the year is to win races and to finish the championship in the top two."
Paolo Coloni, Team Principal: "It is fantastic to have such a great driver on board for our Formula BMW programme. I'm very happy with the driver line-up that we have got and I believe we will be the team to beat."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "Our line-up is complete and it promises to be a very competitive one. Mihai is a promising young star, well known in his country and capable of fighting for outright honours from the very first race. I am really looking forward to seeing him, Ollie and Pedro racing for Fisichella Motor Sport International."