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.
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.
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.
On March 21, 1960, Ayrton Senna da Silva was born into a wealthy Brazilian family along with his brother and sister. Although he led a privileged life with all his needs and wants catered for, his love and inner need to race pushed him to go further and push racing to the extreme. This obsession began at an early age when his father first gave him a miniature go-kart at the age of four years. Ayrton Senna’s memories of his childhood are highlighted with Grand Prix mornings where he would sit down and watch intensely as his Formula One heroes competed. His turn to race took place at the age of thirteen years when he raced a kart for the first time and won.
Later he moved onto single-seater racing in Britain, where he proved himself a formidable force to be reckoned with by winning five championships in three years. His passion for racing continued and finally he made his Formula One debut with Toleman in 1984. In Monaco, Senna proved that he was more then just a driver but that he had phenomenal talent, when he came second to Alain Prost’s McLaren in torrential rain.
In 1985 Ayrton Senna bought out his contract with Toleman and moved to Lotus where he could further his ambitions as a Formula One driver. This is exactly what he did, within three seasons he began in pole position sixteen times and won a total of six races. Again he came to a standstill as to what he could achieve within Lotus and so decided to take the next step forward and move to McLaren in 1988. Here he stayed for a total of six seasons, winning altogether three world championships and 35 races, showing his domination as a driver. Then in time for the 1994-racing season Senna moved to Williams for that ill-fated year.
Senna put his heart and soul into his driving and life itself, that was the type of man he was. It could be seen time and again by all his fans just how committed he was to the sport and what a thrilling spectacle it was to see him lap after lap. This ambition did not go without condemnation from the critics and infact it was Prost who accused Senna of caring more for the win then life itself. Ayrton Senna even confessed that he at times went too far to the point of even frightening himself. Although he was quite taken up with racing this did not mean that he was too self-absorbed to recognise the suffering of his fellow man. By the time he died in 1994 he had given approximately $400 million to children and to the underprivileged in Brazil.
Senna had always seen living as putting ‘your everything’ into what ever you did and come the time that he could not, he would rather die instantly then carry on. This is exactly what happened on May 1, 1994, at the San Marino Grand Prix. He was racing in his leading Williams when he veered off the track and hit the concrete wall. Millions of his fans saw Senna come to his end on television. The world mourned the passing of this man who had captivated his audience right from the beginning. Among the mourners at Ayrton’s funeral was Frank Williams, who said, “Ayrton was no ordinary person. He was actually a greater man out of his car than in it.”
Born near Birmingham on the 8 August 1953, Nigel Ernest Mansell drove his first car at the age of seven on an open field. He was inspired by Jim Clark, who won the 1962 British Grand Prix, and from then decided he would copy his hero. Like many other Formula One racers he started with cart racing and after much success became the 1977 British Formula Ford champion, regardless of the fact that during the test run he suffered a broken neck. The doctors then informed him that the accident had brought him close to becoming a quadriplegic and that for six months after the accident he was to be confined and would probably never drive again. Nigel sneaked out on the pretense of going to the toilet and raced on.
Nigel Mansell put a lot on line to progress in his racing. Having given up his job as an aerospace engineer and having sold many of his personal items to finance his move into Formula Ford, he was not about to stop now. Later, Mansell and his loyal wife Rosanne sold their home to finance his next move into Formula Three. In 1979, Mansell was again in a near death accident when he collided with another car. For the second time Nigel Mansell was hospitalized, this time with a broken vertebra in his back. With so much at stake he took painkillers to hide the extent of his pain and performed well enough in the Lotus tryouts to become a test driver for the Formula One team.
In 1980 he took part in his Formula One debut at the Austrian Grand Prix. During the race he had a fuel leak in the cockpit, which left him with extremely painful first and second degree burns on his buttocks. In 1985 Nigel moved to Williams, but by the end of that season he had had no victories to show for the 71 Grand Prix starts he had taken part in. However, after that he became a prolific winner, starting with the 1985 European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. In a period of 18 months he won 11 races but was unable to achieve two World Championships. In 1986 his season came to an end when his tyre burst in Adelaide.
Nigel Mansell fuelled his motivational fires with adverse situations and if they did not exist he went out of his way to create them. Although this caused many conflicts within the Williams team, the fans loved him for the pure unadulterated aggression with which he raced. In 1988 an opportunity came up at Ferrari and Mansell took it with both hands. In 1989 his debut with Ferrari came with a win, which endured him to his Italian fans who called him “The Lion”. At Hungaroring he qualified at a seemingly hopeless 12th on a track that was known to be impossible to overtake on. But Mansell stormed through the field and managed to just get pass Senna’s McLaren and win the race.
At the end of the season Nigel announced that he would be retiring for the season but a couple of months later came back onto the racing scene with Williams. 1991 saw him winning five times in the Williams-Renault but he was unable to take the title. In 1992 this changed and he was declared World Champion after winning nine out of the 16 races in his Williams-Renault FW14B. But with grieviances over money and the prospect of having his arch enemy as his 1993 team mate he retired from Williams and started with IndyCar racing in America where he dominated, becoming the 1993 IndyCar champion. A year later Williams talked him into returning for four more races, the last of which he won from pole position. In 1995 he raced two more times with McLaren but decided once and for all to retire after 187 races over 15 chaotic seasons. Nigel Mansell retired from racing to run several business enterprises and now lives a much quieter life with his wife and three children, taking part in a couple of racing events from time to time.