DECEMBER 9, 2008

Rossi is man to watch

American teenager Alexander Rossi became the Formula BMW World Champion in Mexico City. The 17-year-old crossed the line 0.655 seconds ahead of Michael Christensen with local hero Esteban Gutierrez third. As a reward for his victory, Rossi will be given a drive in a BMW Sauber F1 Team race car.

Rossi, who won the Formula BMW Americas title before the Mexican event, drove a stunning race to pass three men ahead of him and took the lead after 13 laps.

"Alexander drove a fantastic race and passed one car after the other," said BMW's Mario Theissen. "He deserves his win, but Michael Christensen and Esteban Gutierrez can also look back on a strong weekend. I™m convinced that all three of them will have successful careers in international motor racing. Who knows, maybe they will knock on our door in F1 in the future."

With his 10th win of the year, three of them at F1 races, Rossi has marked his card, particularly as he beat men who are highly-rated in Europe. Gutierrez, for example, is rumoured to have already had contact with F1 teams.

Robert Kubica was in Mexico with BMW to watch the event.

"It has been interesting watching the young drivers here," he said. "They have a lot of hard work ahead of them if they want to get to the top of the sport, but Formula BMW is a great series to start in."