In just the second race event of his open-wheel racing career young Canadian David Ostella climbed the podium, and he did so on the biggest possible stage in front of friends, family, and some of the most important people in racing at the 2008 ...
In just the second race event of his open-wheel racing career young Canadian David Ostella climbed the podium, and he did so on the biggest possible stage in front of friends, family, and some of the most important people in racing at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix. Ostella was handed his hardware from BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen Sunday morning, in what became the highlight of his career to date.
"It was so cool to receive the award from Mario Thiessen," Ostella said upon taking third-place in the second race of the weekend. "He is a very nice man and seemed like a great guy. When I was on the podium it was almost surreal to have him giving me the trophy and I was just so excited to be up there. It was also great to have met Robert Kubica at the BMW dinner Thursday night, and then see him to go on and score his first F1 win. Just an incredible weekend."
While the podium was easily the high point, the 16-year-old from Maple, Ontario, also had a trio of low points during his time in Montreal, one on each of the three days of racing. On Friday, Ostella was just settling into qualifying when a radiator hose worked loose and ended his session. The missed time led to 13th on the grid, and his Eurointernational team then had to make an engine change as the high temperature warped the head gasket. As bad as things were, they got even worse in the first race of the weekend on Saturday.
After a great start that had him four positions forward, Ostella moved into eighth later in the lap by passing Alexandre Ruiz on the outside through the final chicane. Ruiz then looked to respond at turn eight, overshot the corner and collected both Ollie Milroy and Ostella. "The car was destroyed on all four corners, the suspension had to be repaired, also the front wing and some of the floor!" Ostella recalled. "The crew stayed up all night, not going to sleep, and I wanted to thank them for it on Sunday." And thank them he did.
"Off the start there was a huge incident in turn one so I went right down the inside as a lot of people went outside," Ostella said of the race two start. "I ended up sixth behind the safety car headed to a restart. I had a great pass into fifth, and moved to third with retirements. I came into the pits the most excited I have been yet!" Ostella also set the second fastest lap of the race and though he was assisted to the podium, it was further assistance to his car afterward that threatens to remove it. "The BMW guys put the car outside the tent where people were walking by and someone helped to put the car inside the tent, pushed it by the top of the rear wing and changed the angle," Ostella said of an incident that led to a technical disqualification. The wing was outside allowable measures during inspection, but as the altered angle would have created far too much drag to be quick around Montreal and obviously wasn't run, the team remains hopeful that a protest will reinstate the young Canadian.
The Formula BMW Americas Championship resumes this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with rounds five and six.