Nicolas Hülkenberg

March 23, 2010 by  
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Born in Emmerich am Rhein, Germany, on 19 August 1987, Nicolas “Nico” Hülkenberg began karting at the age of 10. He won the German Junior Karting Championship in 2002 and took the German Kart Championship title in 2003.

In 2005, Hülkenberg made his Formula BMW ADAC debut, winning the championship with nine wins and eight poles. During 2006 he took part in the German Formula Three Championship and also joined the German A1 Grand Prix team. He gained nine wins in the A1GP, leading his team to victory. 2007 was another successful year for the talented Nicolas Hülkenberg, when he took third position in the Formula Three Euroseries championship, racing for ASM. He also won the Formula Three Masters race at Zolder. Hülkenberg really impressed in 2008 when he won the Formula Three Euroseries championship. That same year he was the official test driver for the Williams team.

Nicolas Hülkenberg made is GP2 Series debut in 2009 and took home the title. He was still testing for Williams at the time. In November 2009 it was confirmed that Hülkenberg would race for Williams F1 during the 2010 season. It seems that there is nothing holding this talented driver back, and F1 fans should keep an eye out for this rising star.

Nico Rosberg

March 23, 2010 by  
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Born on 27 June 1985 in Wiesbaden, Germany, Nico Rosberg is the son of F1 World Champion Keke Rosberg. Nico has certainly made a name for himself in the world of auto racing. He began karting at eleven years of age in 1996. In 2002 Nico Rosberg made his single-seater debut and won the Formula ADAC Championship after nine wins that season. This victory earned him a test with the Williams team.

In 2003 Rosberg moved on to the Formula Three Euro Series on his father’s team, finishing eighth overall. He continued in the series in 2004, gaining three victories. Then, in 2005, Nico Rosberg went on to take part in the inaugural GP2 Series as part of ART Grand Prix team. He won title!

Toward the end of 2005, it was announced that Rosberg would be a driver for the Williams team in 2006. It proved to be a challenging F1 debut season for Rosberg, who finished 14th overall, but also became the youngest F1 driver to set the fastest lap at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The next year proved to go much more smoothly, with Rosberg coming in ninth overall and scoring his career-best fourth place in Brazil. 2008 saw Rosberg take 13th overall. In 2009 he continued to fight for the podium, only achieving fourth places. By the end of the season he was in 7th place, with 34.5 points, having scored all of the Williams team’s points for 2009. Nico Rosberg announced on 23 November 2009 that he would be Mercedes GP team’s first driver, and was later joined by Michael Schumacher as his teammate for the 2010 season.

Rubens Barrichello

March 22, 2010 by  
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Born in São Paulo, Brazil, on May 23, 1972, Rubens Barrichello has been steadily carving a name for himself in the annals of F1 history since his rookie days in 1993. He finished third in the 2009 F1 championship as a driver for the Braun GP team, and has scored the fourth highest points total in Formula One history, as well as being in second place for total races finished in the points. Barrichello will be driving for Williams F1 in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship season.

Rubens Barrichello made his F1 debut in 1993 at the South African Grand Prix for the Jordan team, scoring his first points in Japan that same year. Still with Jordan, in 1994 he finished sixth, scoring his first podium at the Pacific Grand Prix with a third place. Signing with Stewart for 1997, Barrichello claimed a second place at Monaco and finished 13th in the Driver’s Championship for both 1997 and 1998. In 1999 Barrichello had his best season with the Stewart team, finishing seventh with 21 points.

In the year 2000 Barrichello signed with Ferrari as second driver, claiming first place at the German Grand Prix, notching up 62 points for the season and finishing fourth in the drivers championship. 2001 saw Barrichello strengthen his position as a world-class driver with 10 podium finishes and third place in the drivers championship, while in 2002 he took three pole positions, four victories and ended the season second in the drivers championship in what was described as Ferrari’s most dominant position to date.

Continuing as second driver for Ferrari, in 2003 Barrichello achieved two race wins, claiming fourth position in the drivers championships and proving to be an excellent teammate for Michael Schumacher. Barrichello continued with his winning streak in 2004, scoring four pole positions, two first places and an additional 12 podium finishes, claiming second place in the driver standings for the season. The 2005 F1 season saw Ferrari struggle to keep up with the pace, and after claiming second place at Melbourne, the opening race of the season, Barrichello went on to score at seven races, finishing in eighth position that year.

Driving for Honda in 2006, Barrichello appeared to experience some difficulty in adapting to Honda machinery, with teammate Jenson Button outperforming him overall. He finished the 2006 season in seventh position. The following two years proved somewhat disappointing with the poor performance of Honda’s RA107 car resulting in Barrichello failing to score any points for the 2007 season. He did, however, manage to score 11 points in 2008 and achieve a podium finish at Silverstone.

The 2009 F1 Championship season saw Rubens Barrichello being consistently outpaced by his teammate Jenson Button. However, two wins near the close of season resulted in Barrichello finishing third overall. At the end of the 2009 season, Barrichello announced his move to the Williams F1 team for the 2010 season. Currently Barrichello is the most experienced driver on the grid, and if the season progresses without any mishaps, he is set to become the first driver in F1 history to reach 300 Grand Prix entries and 300 starts which he should achieve by the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix.

BMW Sauber

February 9, 2009 by  
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In July 2009, BMW announced that it would withdraw from Formula One racing at the end of the Season

BMW, an abbreviation for Bavarian Motor Works, is an independent motorcycle and car manufacturer based in Munich, Germany. The manufacturer is known world-wide for producing beautiful, up-market cars that are a pleasure to drive. BMW also acts as a parent company for MINI and Rolls-Royce. The company has been involved in motor sport ever since they created their first motorcycle. They have competed successfully in Formula One racing, Formula Two racing and Rally racing, amongst others.

Initially BMW supported existing Formula One teams such as Williams and McLaren. In 2005, BMW made the decision to leave Williams F1 and to purchase the Sauber F1 team which was founded by Peter Sauber in 1993. The team became known as BMW – Sauber F1 and although BMW is the owner, constructor and engine manufacturer for the team, they decided to leave the Sauber name as a gesture of goodwill to Peter Sauber who currently acts as a consultant for the team.

BMW started its involvement in motor vehicle racing in the 1940s. They initially used their 328 model to participate in F2 racing, using the sport as a stepping stone to F1 racing. They ran their own team until F2 racing was stopped periodically in 1955 and then switched to F1. Even though F2 was later revived, BMW decided not to get involved with this aspect of the sport again – that was until F2 regulations allowed 1600cc motors. Suddenly the idea of F2 racing became a lot more appealing and by the end of the 1960s, BMW had developed the ‘M12’ engine as well as their 269 chassis. They continued to enjoy great success through the 1970s and decided to get more involved in F1 in the 1980s.

In 1982, BMW raced their first turbocharged engine, the M12/13. It was a complete success and it took its first win and the Canadian Grand Prix. The following year the engine took four more wins and won the driver’s championship. By 1984, BMW was supplying quite a few F1 teams with their multiple-victory engines. Despite BMW’s withdrawal from the sport near the end of 1986, the engine continued to be in use until turbocharged motors were banned from the sport. Tody the BMW M12/13 Turbocharged 14 engine is still recognised as being the first F1 engine capable of a 1000hp racing trim. In 1997 BMW developed a partnership with the Williams Grand Prix Engineering. The partnership proved to be most successful and BMW went on to enjoy many wins with excellent drivers like Ralf Schumacher, Jenson Button and Pablo Montoya behind the wheel.

In 2005, disagreements between BMW and Williams resulted in a bad season and the decline of the partnership. BMW decided to purchase Sauber’s multi-million dollar research and development facility and take over the team. In 2006, the BMW-Sauber F1 team was born allowing BMW to exercise full control over their own team.

AT&T Williams F1 Team

February 9, 2009 by  
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The AT&T Williams F1 team, was established by Sir Frank Williams, together with Patrick Head. It was known at that time as the Williams Grand Prix Engineering team, and has since then become one of the three top contenders in the world of Formula One. In its history of Formula One racing, the Williams Team has walked away with nine Constructor’s titles. Their first race was at the Spanish Grand Prix in 1977, with Clay Regazzoni (from Switzerland) securing the first win for the team in 1979 at the British Grand Prix. The Williams team’s 100th win was made possible by Jacques Villeneuve in 1997 at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Together with McLaren and Ferrari, the Williams team consistently features amongst the top contenders. The chassis for the Williams F1 team, always has a “FW” followed by a number, being the initials for the proud team owner, Frank Williams.

Frank Williams had tried his hand in Formula One racing twice before founding Williams F1 in 1977. He previously had been running two operations, namely Walter Wolf Racing and Frank Williams Racing Cars. But it was the Williams team that brought him success. Many famous drivers have been behind the wheel of a Williams car, and to name a few: Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Keke Rosberg and Ayrton Senna. In 1994, Patrick Head, Frank Williams and the Williams designer, Adrian Newey, faced manslaughter charges, after the tragic and fatal accident at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994, that took Ayrton Senna’s life. The three men were cleared of all charges in 2005.

The Williams team did not only have different drivers contributing to their success, but also different engines. Williams was able to win five Constructor titles with a Renault engine. Frank Williams did not achieve the success he so desired with his Frank Williams Racing Cars operation. He established the Walter Wolf Racing outfit after many promises from the millionaire, but due to the uncompetitive cars and unfulfilled promises, Williams relocated to Didcot, and the birth of Williams F1 had started. Williams recruited Patrick Head as engineer of his new project and the “William-Head” partnership lasted throughout the years. The following years would see many successes and many disappointments and heartbreaking losses, but despite all the challenges of the changing times, Williams has always come through.

2007 was a year of changes for the Williams F1 Team – Toyota supplied the engines for the season; Alexander Wurz moved up from his position as test driver to the team’s second driver, thereby replacing Mark Webber; Kazuki Nakajima took the position of test driver; and AT&T became the primary official sponsor of the team, after having withdrawn its sponsorship of McLaren when they signed with competitor Vodafone. Nico Rosberg remained the number one driver of the team and tallied up a respectable number of points for the Williams F1 Team. Wurz did not perform as well and upon announcing his retirement, test driver Nakajima took over for the final race of the season in Brazil where he started near the back of the grid and managed to finish in tenth spot.

With Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima as principle drivers, the Williams F1 Team had its fair share of both successes and disappointments in 2008, finishing the season eighth in the constructions championship. Despite a disappointing 2008 season and rumblings of discontent from Rosberg, both drivers stayed on with Williams for the 2009 season. Towards the end of the 2009 season it was announced that the team would not be renewing its partnership with Toyota and would be looking for a new engine supplier for 2010. This turned out to be the UK-based private company Cosworth, an automotive engineering company specializing in auto racing engines that supplied the Cosworth CA2010 for the Williams FW32 cars. By the end of 2009 the Williams F1 Team had claimed 9 Constructors’ Championships, 7 Drivers’ Championships, 113 race victories, 125 pole positions and 130 fastest laps. Drivers for the 2010 season are Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg, with Valtteri Bottas as test driver.

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