Munich. They cannot wait to finally go racing, but the 28 drivers in Formula BMW Europe will have to hold their fire for a while yet. Indeed, the first race of the season does not take place until 26th April - on the undercard of the Formula One...
Munich. They cannot wait to finally go racing, but the 28 drivers in Formula BMW Europe will have to hold their fire for a while yet. Indeed, the first race of the season does not take place until 26th April - on the undercard of the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. Official tests have been held at Monza, Zolder, Barcelona and Silverstone ahead of this opening encounter, and the talented young drivers - presented with the opportunity to race 140-hp formula cars from the tender age of 15 - could not be better prepared. Among those showing some fine pre-season form has been Adrien Tambay, son of French ex-Formula One driver Patrick Tambay.
The 17-year-old Tambay, who won the rookie title last year in Formula BMW Germany, was well up the field in all the official tests. My goal is clear: to become the new champion," says the BMW Junior. However, he will not have things all his own way. The Dane Michael Christensen and German driver Marco Wittmann are also determined to finish the season at the top of the pile,.
Among the drivers looking to build on the experience they gained in 2007 are the Mexican Esteban Gutierrez, leading rookie in Formula BMW USA last year, and Jazeman Jaafar from Malaysia, who won the Formula BMW Asia title. The strong field of talented drivers from 13 nations will be keen to make the winners of each race work as hard as possible for their glory. And that will provide interesting viewing for the illustrious spectators sure to be at trackside when the cars lock horns. There is also a rich international flavour to the Formula BMW Junior squad this year, with Christensen and Tambay joined by the German David Mengesdorf, British driver Oliver Millroy and Spanish contender Ramon Pineiro in the class of 2008.
Formula BMW Europe will serve up a feast of back-to-basics motor sport for the spectators looking down from the stands and out from the F1 paddock. The youngsters will do battle in technically identical 140-hp racing machines, eager to show that it is they who can offer the best combination of driving skill, fitness and car set-up ability. In one of the most exciting developments this year, the Formula BMW cars will be equipped with radios for the first time. The result will be an intensification of the interaction between the drivers and their teams, giving the ambitious stars-in-the-making some early experience of using the radio at the wheel - a skill they are sure to need as they move up into higher categories of motor racing. Plus, safety-related issues, such as a race stoppage, can now be communicated during a race.
Formula BMW Europe races will be included on the support programme for seven Formula One grands prix. For the drivers each race weekend will consist of free practice, qualifying and two races (Race 1 on the Saturday, Race 2 on Sunday).