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.

Alain Prost

February 9, 2009 by  
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Alain Prost was born near Saint Chamond in the Loire region of central France on February 24, 1955. Although Alain was a physically small boy he had unlimited energy and would give his everything as he took part in many sporting activities including football where he broke his nose several times. At the age of 14 years he discovered kart racing on a family holiday and from then on he became obsessed with it, winning several karting championships. In 1974 he left school to take up racing full time and supported himself by becoming a kart distributor and tuning engines.

In 1975 he won the French senior karting championships and as a prize was given a season in Formula Renault where he won two driving titles and moved to Formula Three. During 1978 and 1979 he won both the European and French F3 championships, which made him wanted property by several Formula One teams. With much consideration he chose to sign up with McLaren for the 1980 season. His first Formula One season was inundated with accidents, breaking his wrist in one and suffering from concussion in another. One of the points of concern was that these accidents were caused mainly from mechanical failures and the other was Alain’s increasing loss of confidence in how the McLaren team was being run. With that he broke his two-year contract and moved over to Renault.

His first Formula One win came at the 1981 French Grand Prix at Dijon and from there on he kept up his winning streak with nine wins during his time with Renault. However, a change was inevitable, so Alain Prost and his wife Anne-Marie and their son Nicolas moved to Switzerland where Prost again joined the British-based team, McLaren in 1984. His six seasons with McLaren saw him win thirty races, three driving titles and runner-up twice. During 1985 and 1986 he became the first back-to-back French World Champion since Jack Brabham ten years ago. In 1987 he beat Jackie Stewart‘s 14-year-old record when he won his 28th Grand Prix.

In 1988 between Prost and Ayrton Senna they contributed a total of 15 victories to McLaren-Honda. From then on there was intense rivalry between the two, which drove the sport’s greatest drivers to heights of success and controversy unheard of before. McLaren continued to dominate throughout 1989 but with the Prost-Senna feud reaching the stage of out-right hatred, Prost decided to leave McLaren and join Ferrari. Prost won five races in his first year with Ferrari but lost the season end championship in Japan to fellow rival, Senna.

In 1991 Alain Prost failed to win a race and due to his public criticism of the team he was fired. The year 1992 saw him as a TV commentator but Prost returned to racing in 1993 and joined William-Renault where he won several races bringing his tally up to 51 wins. When faced with having Senna as his Williams team mate Prost decided to retire and instead become a TV commentator as well as working as an advisor and test driver for McLaren.

From 1997 to 2002, Alain Prost created and ran Prost Grand Prix. Since then he has regularly taken part in the Andros Ice Race series, as well as several bicycle races.

Ayrton Senna

February 9, 2009 by  
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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.”

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