It was to be an unforgettable experience for up-and-coming young racing driver Nico Rosberg. On Tuesday afternoon the Finn embarked on his first Formula One test drive in ideal conditions on the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona: Nico Rosberg,...
It was to be an unforgettable experience for up-and-coming young racing driver Nico Rosberg. On Tuesday afternoon the Finn embarked on his first Formula One test drive in ideal conditions on the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona: Nico Rosberg, born on 27 June 1985 in Wiesbaden (GER), is the youngest driver ever to take part in a Formula One test drive. The son of ex-Formula One World Champion, Keke Rosberg, completed 38 4.73- kilometre laps in the FW24 of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team. He claimed a personal best time of 1:21.070 minutes on lap 29.
Nico Rosberg, who left a very positive impression with the Team, was bubbling over with excitement. "It was sensational. Now I don't want to drive anything else. I want to say a big thank you to BMW and WilliamsF1. The first laps were like a game with a playstation -- everything went so fast and seemed so unreal. My father had advised me not to attempt too much and just enjoy the whole experience. I think I managed to do that quite well." Keke Rosberg was at the trackside with friends watching his son's F1 debut.
Asked about the physical demands of such a drive, Rosberg Junior, who had clocked up just one season in the 140 bhp Formula BMW before venturing out in the FW24 with almost 900 horsepower, replied: "You can forget about all your neck exercises -- the forces in an F1 are just too great. Your arms are put under extreme strain as well."
Rosberg had been granted this test as a reward for his achievements as winner of the Formula BMW ADAC Championship 2002. He had secured nine victories out of 20 races in a field of 28 drivers from nine countries.
Dirk Müller (GER) was another BMW driver taking his test drive in the morning. The seasoned touring car works driver had been given the test in recognition of his achievements in the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC). He completed 45 laps with a best time of 1:21.605 minutes and was equally elated.
"For me a huge dream has come true," said the grateful 27-year-old. "I'm deeply impressed by the incredible power of the BMW engine. Its pulling power is absolutely awesome. I didn't come close to exhausting the potential of the Formula One brakes and lost a lot of time as a result. Lateral acceleration, too, is even more impressive than I had expected. Despite two weeks of intense training, my neck started hurting far too early. Even so, it was the icing on the cake of my racing experiences."