Ammermueller replaces Vettel at Spa
Michael Ammermueller will replace Sebastian Vettel at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend as race driver for the Carlin World Series team, following Vettel’s recent call up to the position of full time race driver with the Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 team. Ammermueller, also a Red Bull driver, comes to Carlin having recovered from a broken wrist acquired at the first GP2 round in Bahrain in April.
Vettel leaves the World Series championship with a 27 point lead in the drivers’ standings. Sebastian Vettel’s move to a permanent F1 race seat continues Carlin’s history of breeding F1 stars. The 20 year-old German joins previous Carlin drivers Takuma Sato, Anthony Davidson, Robert Kubica and Nico Rosberg in the 2007 Formula One World Championship.
21 year-old Ammermueller, who has been a member of the Red Bull Junior Team since 2003, made his debut in Formula racing in 2004, when he competed in the German Formula Renault. In 2005, Ammermueller became the most successful driver in the Red Bull program after an impressive season in the Italian Formula Renault and Formula Renault Eurocup championships. His strong showing in the junior championships was enough to warrant a call up to join Arden International in the F1 feeder series GP2 in 2006.
Ammermueller impressed the motorsport fraternity to win his second ever GP2 race at the opening round at Valencia. Part way through 2006, he also became third driver for Red Bull Racing F1 team. 2007 saw the young German confirmed as full time Test Driver for Red Bull Racing and also a switch to the ART GP2 team. Unfortunately an accident at the season opener in Bahrain saw Ammermueller suffer a broken wrist, putting him out of contention for the next two events.
Ammermueller will join the current top team in World Series. After seven rounds of World Series by Renault, Carlin currently hold a 36 point lead in the team championship. Demonstrating a consistently strong team performance, Carlin have finished on the podium at every race meeting so far this season, taking two race wins, one second place and two third place finishes.
Team Principal Trevor Carlin said, “Obviously we are very pleased for Sebastian that he has been given the opportunity to race in Formula One for the remainder of the 2007 season. While competing for Carlin, Sebastian has proved himself to be an immensely competitive and intelligent driver and I have no doubt that he will prove an asset to the Toro Rosso team. We are very proud of our history of breeding future F1 stars within the Carlin team; unfortunately, this one came a little earlier than expected!
“Although losing Sebastian is a blow to the team, we still have an incredibly talented driver in Mikhail Aleshin who has also won a race this season and is still a contender for the drivers’ championship. “We welcome Michael to the team and I’m certain that with his experience in GP2 and F1, he will be a great support to Mikhail and the team to help sustain our current level of success. I’m confident that we will still be in a position to challenge for the drivers’ championship and maintain our lead in the team championship.”