Tambay dominates Hockenheim, becomes FBMW rookie champion Adrien Tambay dominated the FBMW Germany series at the Hockenheim Grand Prix circuit at the weekend, as he took a double victory in the final two rounds of the 2007 season. Returning to...
Tambay dominates Hockenheim, becomes FBMW rookie champion
Adrien Tambay dominated the FBMW Germany series at the Hockenheim Grand Prix circuit at the weekend, as he took a double victory in the final two rounds of the 2007 season. Returning to the circuit where his Father, Patrick won the Formula One race for Ferrari 25 years earlier, Tambay's focus was on securing a debut FBMW win. As he watched his race car being loaded into the Josef Kaufmann Racing transporter on Sunday evening, he had achieved that objective twice - and had climbed to 4th position overall in the series standings. Finishing the season as best of the three JK Racing team-mates, it's been a season of which he can be extremely proud.
Statistically, Tambay came to Hockenheim having previously qualified on pole position, having set fastest laps on new circuits, and having stood on the 2nd and 3rd steps of the podium a total of seven times; a race win was all that was missing.
In qualifying, Tambay adopted a bold strategy, taking to the circuit for just five laps in total, running a light fuel load, and aiming to preserve his tyres. That strategy paid off, and Tambay took pole position, 1/10th of a second faster than the second placed driver, in spite of having to overtake two other drivers on that fastest lap. In qualifying for the second race, Tambay opted to run for just three laps, and save for a small mistake entering the stadium section of the circuit, he may well have topped the timesheets again, but instead, the schoolboy from Le Cannet took 5th fastest.
When the lights turned to green at the start of the first race, Tambay quickly went from 1st to 3rd on the opening lap, reclaiming 2nd as quickly as he'd lost it, before settling in to a race-long battle with Philip Eng. Unable to remain in Eng's slipstream, and aware that his competitor's car was under investigation by officials as it took to the track, Tambay maturely decided to consolidate his second position, where he crossed the line to the news that Eng's car was in fact disqualified due to a technical infringement. Tambay stood on top of the FBMW podium for the first time, and thought back momentarily to how far he had come in the months since his first test at Hockenheim. His emotions were understandably high, when he said, "That was an amazing race; incredible! I've always known I could do it, even as a rookie with all these experienced drivers around me, but having done it makes a difference. I want to go out and do it again now, and from 5th, it will be tough, but I believe I can do it. I want to thank my team, my sponsors and my family I owe them all a lot."
Starting the second race, Tambay passed new series Champion, Jens Klingmann as he left the line, then started dicing for position. By the end of the first lap, he'd climbed to 2nd place, and was soon at the front of the field. A small error forced Tambay off-track and back to 2nd place, but he immediately attacked for the lead, and just three corners later, was again at the front of the pack. From there, Tambay drove well to protect his position, and he crossed the line in first place, ensuring a dominant double-victory.
Speaking through what seemed like the world's biggest smile, sixteen year old Tambay's excitement was palpable, commenting, "Wow! Amazing! I touched another car on the opening lap and damaged my front wing, but I tried to forget that, adjusted my driving style a little, and focused on the win. I'd have taken a narrow victory bearing in mind my starting position, but to battle, lead, then win by a margin...it doesn't get any better. Again, my thanks to my team, they've been great, and to my sponsors, HPG, Richard Mille, Moulin Rouge, and Motors TV. I also want to congratulate Jens on winning the title; he was strong throughout the season, and he's always driven fairly. Had I not lost a few points at the start of the year, who knows what may have changed, but I'm happy for now. In motor-racing, all you can actually hope for is to be better than your team-mates, and to be best of those drivers that sit alongside in terms of experience. I believe I've proven a lot this season, and I want to build on that position."
Tambay's focus now switches to the end of season FBMW World Series Finals in Valencia, Spain on the weekend of November 24th and 25th an event for which he must be seen as a true favourite.