Stockinger brings F1 experience to Manila

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A FORMULA 1 car zipping through the streets of Manila. And a Filipino behind the wheel.

Filipino-Swiss Marlon Stockinger will make that happen at 8 a.m. today in a Lotus F1 car which he will drive to Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, passing through a stretch of Roxas Boulevard, to drum up interest in F1 racing where the 22-year-old hopes to make a name someday.

Tomorrow, he will drive around the Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City to wrap up the two-day Manila Speed Show.

“Driving an F1 car is very challenging, so you have to push it to a certain limit,” said Stockinger during yesterday’s press conference at Manila Hotel. “You have to have full control because it has so many buttons.”

Stockinger, who was born and raised in Malate, Manila, is hoping to make the big jump to car racing’s biggest stage as part of the famed Lotus F1 junior team.

He is one of the seven drivers being trained by Lotus F1, the team Kimi Raikkonen has powered to second spot in the season’s constructors’ standings, behind Red Bull Racing.

“Motorsports can be very daunting for young drivers, particularly everything that occurs away from the track,” said Lotus F1 team principal Eric Boullier. “We want to give our drivers the very best preparation possible.”

Apart from the Lotus F1 show run, the Speed Show will also showcase luxury cars and a Pit Stop Challenge where fans can experience F1 simulators.

Stockinger hopes to be a poster boy for world-class racing after his impressive debut in the 2013 World Series by Renault, the launch pad for aspiring drivers aiming to crash the F1 realm.

Accompanied by his father Tom, Stockinger will return to Europe soon to resume his campaign in the Formula Renault 3.5 series in Monte Carlo. He is also scheduled to vie in races in Europe.

Formerly known as Renault, the Lotus F1 team placed fourth overall last year after winning in 1995 and 2006 with racing legend Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso.

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