TALK, TALK WITH TAMBAY
Standing tall and racing with success to be his own man is Adrien Tambay, the fast ‘fils’ of ex-Can-Am champion and Grand Prix winner for Ferrari, Patrick Tambay.
The younger Tambay was born on February 25, 1991 in the city of lights and has been shining on race tracks since jumping in a kart at the tender age of five.
He made his single-seater debut in the Formula BMW Europe series in 2007 and won Rookie of the Year award with two wins, and nine podium finishes, placing a very impressive fourth overall in the championship.
More wins followed in the 2008 season, this time on both sides of the Atlantic as Adrien won both the opening races of the season at Barcelona, and a round of Formula BMW USA at Road America. He was third in European iteration of the series. In 2009, Adrien raced with ART Grand Prix team in the F3 Euro series, and this season saw action and victories in two very competitive series.
F1weekly would like to thank him for taking his time to answer questions on a busy and winning season.
Q: How emotional and important was victory at Imola in AutoGP, on a track where your father won the 1983 San Marino GP in a Ferrari?
A: “It was a great moment, I nearly cried on the in-lap after the race. For my father, it meant a lot. For me as well, and I am pretty happy of the strong race we had there.”
Q: You were leading the race at Magny-Cours when a fuel pump issue robbed you of a home win less than two laps from the finish, did you say some choice words on the team radio before the car came to a halt?
A: “It actually was not a fuel pump issue but a human mistake, one of the guys made a mistake when putting the fuel in and just didn’t put enough of it. That’s racing, but obviously I was pissed off. Not to this guy, everybody can do mistakes, just in general because without these mistakes we would have been P2 in the championship.”
Q: How does the AutoGP car compare in terms of performance and handling with an F3 car you raced last year?
A: “It’s much faster!! And it’s more fun, a lot of power. Nearly three times more than in the F3, it’s definitely a good car to learn for GP2 and F1.”
Q: In terms of competition and driver development which series would you recommend, AutoGP or F3 Euro series?
A: “This year, definitely AutoGP, there were not enough drivers in F3 Euro series, and the AutoGP had a great level of strong drivers coming from F1, GP2, GP3, F3, 3.5, such as Grosjean, Pantano, Guerrieri, Reid, Filippi, Piscopo and I am missing a lot of them…”
Q: You had a brief but winning experience in GP3; please tell us about your victory at Spa in the rain?
A: “No words for it, really amazing. It was a great race. Strong gamble and strong performance to keep the car on track and defend my 1st place with slicks on a wet track with all the others on wet tires.”
Q: Victory was judged “Best race of the season,” what did that mean to you and your team, Manor?
A: “It meant a lot. The team did a great job and it’s a great award, mostly for all the guys at Virgin/Manor. I had only two guest appearances to put on a great performance and that’s what we did, so obviously very satisfied about that.”
Q: In your ‘younger’ days you won a Formula BMW race at Road America, your impression of this wonderful track?
A: “It’s still one of my favourites, I love it. To me it’s the American Spa.”
Q: Your father won the Can-Am championship; do you have any desire to race in the US, especially the Indy 500?
A: “For sure, that’s something I will keep in mind for the future, I’d like to go racing in the States again, and may the opportunity come to me.”
Q: Your thoughts on the Korean GP and who do you think will be world champion?
A: “I have the feeling Alonso and Hamilton are the men. It’s gonna be a great end to the season. On the Korean GP, we saw once more that RedBull has the pace, but cannot really get it in the end; it’s a real shame for them.”
Q: Which European city has the best sushi, your favorite dish?
A: “I have to say Paris, my favourite city, where I was born!”
For information on Adrien and his racing agenda please visit www.tambay27.com
– Nasir Hameed