From Formula BMW Pacific to Formula One. Formula BMW fans will find many familiar names in the current Formula One entry list. No less than seven regular drivers celebrated their first successes at the wheel of a single-seater courtesy of ...
From Formula BMW Pacific to Formula One.
Formula BMW fans will find many familiar names in the current Formula One entry list. No less than seven regular drivers celebrated their first successes at the wheel of a single-seater courtesy of BMW's commitment to promoting talented juniors. Whether Sebastien Buemi (CH), Timo Glock (DE) Nicolas Huelkenberg (DE), Nico Rosberg (DE), Bruno Senna (BR), Adrian Sutil (DE) or Sebastian Vettel (DE): they all gained the experience required to make the step up to the elite class in Formula BMW events in Europe. In 2010 the select group of Formula One drivers will be joined for the first time by two young guns who have made a name for themselves in the Asian Formula BMW series.
Red Bull has signed up Australian Daniel Ricciardo as test and reserve driver for its Formula One team. Four years after his debut as a Junior in the Formula BMW Asia series, the reigning British Formula 3 champion has realised his dream of making it into the top motorsport category.
This feat has also been achieved by Ho-Pin Tung (CN), the 2003 Formula BMW Asia champion. This season he will be sent into action by Renault as their test and reserve driver. "This is the start of a new adventure," said the 27-year-old. "I am ready." His overall victory in 2003 had made him the first Chinese ever to have the opportunity to test drive a Formula One car, which he did with the BMW WilliamsF1 Team.
2010 Formula BMW Juniors announced.
BMW Motorsport has announced the Juniors for the 2010 Formula BMW season. "The Formula BMW Europe and Formula BMW Pacific series will once again see nine promising youngsters from six countries benefit from our established sponsorship programme as ‘Formula BMW Juniors'. This scheme includes financial support and an invitation to participate in our seasonal Education and Coaching Programme," says BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen. "I am certain that this year's line-up will produce at least one driver who will make it to the top of motorsport over the course of his career - as has been the case with practically every year in the past."
18-year-old Maciej Bernacik will line-up in Formula BMW Europe as the first Polish driver. Austria is also represented by 16-year-old Marc Aurel Coleselli from Salzburg. At just 15 years of age, the youngest of the Juniors racing in the 2010 Formula BMW Europe series also bears the most famous name: Carlos Sainz (ES) is the son of the double Rally World Championship champion and 2010 Rally Dakar winner of the same name. 17-year-old Petri Suvanto from Hyllykallio will represent Finland. Two more young drivers who caught the eye last year will also be supported: Robin Frijns (NL) and Michael Lewis (US), the 2009 Rookie Cup winners in Formula BMW Europe and Formula BMW Americas respectively.
Three more recipients of the sponsorship will race in the Formula BMW Pacific series in 2010. The two Australians Jesse Dixon (17) and Jordan Oon (19) both made a lasting impression on last year's scholarship courses, as did 15-year-old Kotaro Sakurai (JP). When selecting the Formula BMW Juniors, particular focus was on their control of a single-seater car, quick and consistent lap times, the racing line, fitness, and concentration. Over the course of the season, the nine drivers will participate in the BMW Motorsport Education and Training Programme, which supports the young drivers on their way to becoming complete racing drivers.
The Formula BMW Europe season kicks off in less then four weeks with the first official test. On 9th/10th March the youngsters will be in action at the classic "Autodromo Nazionale di Monza".
Formula BMW alumni round-up.
- Oliver Turvey (GB) won the third race in the 2009/2010 GP2 Asia series. The former Formula BMW UK driver finished ahead of Davide Valsecchi (IT) and Jules Bianchi (FR) at the "Yas Marina Circuit" in Abu Dhabi (AE). After four races, Turvey now lies in second place overall. No less than ten former Formula BMW drivers are currently competing in the Asian sister series of GP2.
- The final entry lists have not yet been announced, but it looks like as though an impressive selection of Formula BMW graduates will line up in the forthcoming GP2 and GP3 season. Josef Kral (CZ) and Marcus Ericsson (SE) will start for Super Nova Racing in the GP2 championship, while Fabio Leimer (CH) will wear the colours of Ocean Racing Technology. Oliver Turvey (GB) will also be aiming to challenge for the title with iSport. In the GP3 championship, Alexander Rossi (US) and Esteban Gutierrez (MX) form a formidable duo for the ART team: Rossi won the Formula BMW Americas series and the Formula BMW World Final in 2008, while Gutierrez was crowned Formula BMW Europe champion in the same year. Both drivers completed their maiden Formula One test with the BMW Sauber F1 Team in December 2009.