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Motorsports Mondial

Bianchi beats Grosjean to grab maiden GP2 win

Game on for Jules and GP2 Asia. The opening round of the 2011 season has been won by Jules Bianchi. The Ferrari-contracted French driver sailed to victory in style at the Yas Marina circuit. After beating pole man Romain Grosjean at the start the Lotus ART driver fought a race long battle with the DAMS driver. Bianchi also recorded the fastest lap on lap 31 of 33.

The race had to be red-flagged shortly after the start when Spanish driver Dani Clos stalled on the grid and was hit hard by Brazilian Luiz Razia. Fortunately no injuries despite the violent impact. Norwegian rookie Pal Varhaug was another victim and was unable to continue.

Davide Valsecchi, defending GP2 Asia champion completed the podium for an impressive start in GP2 for the new Tony Fernandes-owned Team AirAsia

Young Swede, Marcus Ericsson, made a last lap pass on Dutchman Giedo van der Garde to take fourth spot. Josef Kral of Czech Republic was sixth, followed by two British drivers, Sam Bird in seventh and Max Chilton picking up the final point from his eighth place finish, and earning himself pole position for tomorrow’s top eight reverse grid sprint race.

— Nasir Hameed

Photos courtesy of GP2 Media.

Motorsports Mondial

Finnish Bull Sit

“I have talent, but I will not talk. I have a manager, but I run my own show.”

The Kimi Raikkonen show may be coming back to Formula 1. The unfortunate and career threatening accident suffered by Pole star Robert Kubica may open the door for the 2007 World Champion. Reports are emerging that Kimi’s management team, the father and son duo of David and Steve Robertson, have opened negotiations with Eric Bouiller, team principal of the Enstone-based operation now operating as Lotus-Renault.

Raikkonen will be a great addition to the grid, renewing rivalry with the man he replaced at Ferrari, the other comeback kid, or by now the young man, Michael Schumacher. After being shown the door by Signor Montezemolo to let Fernando Alonso in, Raikkonen had an opportunity to join Lewis Hamilton at McLaren but his salary demands were far north of Paragon’s purse.

The Espoo native has since moved to the rumble-tumble world of rallying and have endured a few of his own. Under contract to Renault’s French rival Peugeot-Citroen Group his release may involve buying out his contract.

When all is said and done Kimi runs his own show.

Just the Fax ma’am

Another man who runs his own show, and is quite a Ring Master at it, is Willi Weber. The ex-hotelier, who checked-in with a much larger fortune and fame as manager of the Full Schumacher, must be looking at ways to put his new German charge, Nico Hulkenberg, in place of Kubica.

He has a well run drill. It all starts with a fax. Eddie Jordan knows it all too well.

The “Hulk” was dumped by Williams for the wonders of petro-dollars and Pastor Maldonado. The talented German, winner of GP2 championship in 2009, his rookie year, had a difficult start to his maiden F1 season last year, but people in the know are fully convinced of his talent and speed. Faith he repaid by taking pole at Interlagos in changing conditions.

The Lotus-Renault was the fastest car on the final day in the recent pre-season testing; ironically with Kubica at the wheel. Weber will unwind any deal the way only he can to put Hulkenberg in that seat. The kid from Emmerich was recently announced as reserve driver for Force India with a possible race seat in 2012. Vijay Mallya may now have to deal with Force Germany to hang on to his new signing.

Vitantonio Liuzzi, left out yet again, Romain Grosjean, Bruno Senna and Nick Heidfeld are all waiting for Éric René Boullier to reach out and touch them.

Racing drivers are standing by.

It is very sad how this hot seat has become available but that’s motor racing and life.

— Nasir Hameed

Greetings, speedy and full recovery regards to Robert Kubica.

Motorsports Mondial

Oscar Presentation

Master and Speedster

Cali Express. From Kuala Lumpur to Kaufmann’s

Oscar Andres Tunjo is running ahead of schedule. Departing his native Colombia at a young age, he was tearing the kart tracks all over the world. At age 14 he picked up second place in the 2010 Formula BMW Asia series with a stunning maiden win over Sainz Jr in Singapore. For 2011 he is changing from Asian to European tracks and will race with mega-successful Josef Kaufmann Racing in the Formula Renault Euro Cup.

F1 weekly is pleased to present his journey so far. Enjoy the ride and the reading.

Q: You are 15-years old and have been around motorsports for 12 years, what got you hooked into this sport at the tender age of three?

A: My parents have always been working with car dealers, when I was nearly 2 years old I moved one of the cars and crashed it into a wall, so my parents gave me a go-kart for my 3rd Birthday, I jumped in the kart and since then start my racing career.

Q: Colombia has produced quite a few accomplished drivers; Montoya, Guerrero and Saavedra, are you satisfied with opportunities available in your country for young drivers to show case their talents?

A: I’m very happy and proud to represent my country all over the world, I have a lot of support from my fellow Colombians and this gives me a boost to push harder every day in my racing career to take our flag to the 1st step of podium.

Q: You have worked with Martin Hines, the Guru of karting world; how important was working and learning from him?

A: Martin is a very good friend of me and my family, he has helped us a lot during my racing career, I learn the competiveness from Martin and the way he works with his drivers, for me he is the best go kart driver of all times with his world titles in the 250cc category.

Q: What was the highlight of your karting career?

A: I have many good memories from karting, I made the pole position in the world finals at Easykart at age 11 in the 100cc category with special permission from Birel to compete as under age. I was in the top 5 of best drivers of world in KF3 category with MGM Birel Motorsport from Mauro Pozzi who is a great person.

Q: From Cali to Kuala Lumpur; what made you decide to move to Malaysia to start your single-seater career?

A: We stopped racing karts by middle of 2009 when we decided to move and begin testing Formula BMW in Malaysia with Meritus Racing, I have been living around the world with many countries, always in company of my manager and brother Gonzalo Tunjo, while my parents work hard in Colombia for me to be able to continue my racing career as we don’t have a lot of money.

Q: You placed second in the 2010 Formula BMW Asia championship, what were the highs and lows of the season?

A: My debut in Formula BMW Pacific at the F1 Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, when I had the opportunity to met Mr. Bernie Ecclestone and he told me that F1 need a Latin American with talent who can be a different driver. That event I finished in the podium in front of F1, I had the visit of Mr. Eric Boullier who is the director of Lotus Renault F1 team, he has been following my carrer since then and that inspires me to work even harder to achieve my goals each time.

Q: Great battle with Carlos Sainz Jr to win your first race in Singapore; how much confidence did you gain scoring your maiden win?

A: I was waiting for my win a long time, and I think we deserved it with the team, after winning in Singapore I got more confidence and we had very good meetings in Japan and Macau where I was always at the front of the grid.

Q: How will you compare the street circuit of Singapore to Guia in Macau?

A: The Singapore circuit is great, especially when we qualified at night on Saturday, the atmosphere is amazing. One of the best events in F1 I believe, I was dreaming on winning there because it was in front of F1 and in 2009 I had the opportunity to assist with team to watch the F1 Grand Prix and F. BMW races.

The Grand Prix of Macau, it’s an amazing event if you compare with F1, because it’s the world Championship of Formula 3 and the best drivers in the world want to win the event. The circuit is incredible, I worked on simulator really hard and got the pole position point for the event which was really good for me as It was my 1st year there. It’s my favorite circuit so far as it’s very demanding on driving and you have to be focus every single second during the lap.

Dressed for success. On and off the track

Q: Your success made you ‘Sportsman of the Year’ in your country with an award from the President; what does this mean to you at such a young age?

A: I won the first award of Sportsman of the Year when I was 8 years old and won the Spanish karting championship, and know because I did a very good year in Formula BMW Pacific and the youngest to achieve this great result with 14 years old approved by FIA, it’s an honor for me to be elected for the award and it pays for the hard work from my family to keep me racing in the highest level in the world.

Q: You were based in Malaysia, very different environment from Latin America, how much of an adjustment and culture shock was that for you?

A: Malaysia, it’s a beautiful country, very organized and I had the opportunity to live there for 2 years, I have very good memories and friends in Malaysia, I had the opportunity to be with the Malaysian President and Prime minister.

In each country I live with my brother we do the same during the day, I have the fitness training each day 2 times 4 hours per day in total, I work on the simulator in the circuits I compete, we have a mental training routine as its very important for my career when you want to be at best level to compete.

Q: Have you developed a taste for spicy South Asian food and what is your favorite dish from that part of the world?

A: I quite like it now, I always eat with Peter Thompson, a great friend of mine and Meritus GP owner, he took me to eat spicy food and a dish call chicken Mackawala, after 2 years there you begin to like Asian food.

Q: Did you look at other series before deciding on Formula Renault Euro Cup?

A: Our plan was to compete in Formula BMW Pacific and jump to Formula BMW in Europe with one year experience in Asia, BMW Motorsports trusted me giving us a great opportunity to compete at a young age in Asia and the category was very good for young drivers to be with the F1 events, that’s why my manager got in contact with Joseff Kaufmann racing and we have build a great relationship with the team.

Q: Main difference between Formula BMW and Formula Renault machinery?

A: The car it’s a lot faster than the BMW, we have the paddle shift in the steering wheel, a lot more down force that you can feel in the corners and brake later than the F BMW, the new car it’s amazing, I’m loving it and I cannot wait for our first race in April.

Q: Depth of competition will be much greater on European tracks what are your goals for 2011?

A: My main goal in Europe it’s to be very competitive and fight for the championship this season, it’s not easy as there will be many good and experienced drivers like Robin Frinjs F. BMW Europe champion, Will Stevens, Carlos Sainz, Daniil Kvyat, Come Ledogard and many more that will make this category one of the highest level and the one to watch in Europe this year.

Q: Where do you expect to see the biggest improvement in you as a racing driver at the end of this season?

A: I want to improve in my results, my main objective is to learn a lot during this year and to be able to fight for victories to take the Colombian flag to the 1st step of the podium.

Q: What made you decide to race with Josef Kaufmann Racing?

A: Kauffman Racing has a great history with a lot of experience, we tested for 2 days in Motorland and we have built a very strong relationship with the team. The environment is great and I feel at home. Josef knows a lot about setting the car, working with the driver and Lars is great with the data, most important is that they have passion for what they do and they want to win as much as I want this year and we will work hard to achieve our goal this season.

Q: Josef Kaufmann himself was a racing driver what do you want to learn most from his racing experience in your rookie year?

A: I want to learn from him many things as he has a lot of experience, setting the car, as it’s very important for driver to know and help with the setup of the car.

Q: Where will you be based in Europe during the racing season?

A: I will be based in Madrid, as we want to work with the Latin people in Spain to accompany us during the race meetings, we want their support and to bring as many Colombian flags as we can to the race events.

Q: Your favorite track and Formula 1 driver?

A: My favorite race track where I have race at moment is Macau, and from Europe that I have work on simulator is Spa in Belgium.

Q: What is your advice to young drivers who want to make a career in motor racing?

A: Motor racing requires many dedication, discipline and hard work from the driver and the family to support him, the best way is to be at the highest level in Europe since Karting, and then go step by step.

Q: Please tell us about the Oscar Tunjo Foundation?

A: We are currently working on it, I’m working on the message to all the young people of my country to practice sports or any kind of art or talent in their free time, and the parents to support their children because they are the future of our country. I have been advising young people in schools during conferences where I talk about my life working for one dream – to get to F1 and win the world title.

— Nasir Hameed

Greetings and percolated regards.

For more information please visit www.oscartunjo.com

Motorsports Mondial


Nando was going for tercero

He was going to be the hero

Riding a prancing stallion

Ahead was the Russian battalion

Planning the siege of Oviedo

Against an army muy macho

There was no Gatling

Though a lot of rattling

He remembered the days of Renault

When the teammate was slow

And the message of Hockenheim

Which had such a sweet rhyme

Lap after lap

Same would be the gap

Charge of the Red brigade never came

On lap 55 over was the game

Vettel was the winner

Nando had the finger

Situation was Dyer

Luca was on fire

Victim of Vodka then

In the season of 2010

– Nasir “Mercer” Hameed

Greetings and Muddy Waters regards from California!

Motorsports Mondial

Artwork: Sarah Sahadin/Malaysia

Sebastian Vettel: 2010 Formula 1 World Champion

Bastian came into this world on July 3, 1987. His home town in Germany is Heppenheim, not too far from Hockenheim. He was moving around quite quickly in karting from the age of eight.

He won the Junior Monaco Kart Cup in 2001. Same year he also won the ICA Junior and German Junior Karting Championships.

According to a recent interview, Bastian explained in his karting days the family did not have the money to buy rain tires, so he practiced and at times raced in the wet on slick tires; many years later at Monza Heikki Kovalainen experienced first hand the advantage of such training!

It was in his karting days that one of Vettel’s backers approached several F1 team owners, asking them to look at the young German. According to this person one of the leading F1 team principals told him to stop wasting time on his wunderkind.

Then came the charge of Red Bull, they gave little Bastian little wings in the form of sponsorship which was initially less than $10k per year! The partnership has sure come a long way; as Nando and Webbo experienced first hand in the sands of Arabia last month.

On his way to becoming only the second German world champion, Bastian won 18 of 20 races to win the 2004 Formula BMW Germany championship.

In 2005, he was third in the Macau F3 Grand Prix and finished 5th in the F3 Euro series with five podium finishes. He was second in this championship in 2006 with four wins and 9 podium finishes.

He made his F1 debut in the United States in 2007, replacing the injured Robert Kubica and scored a point in his first race.

Rest is history, youngest race winner, pole winner and world champion.

There is a lot more to come before he folds his wings and say ‘wiedersehn’ to the world of motor racing.

Till then he won’t even need a manager; “I can get to the track on my own!”

Some might say one cocky German.

Others may ask, haven’t we seen this movie before?

– – Nasir Hameed

Greetings and Jägermeister regards for the Holiday Season.