Coventry students to be guests of Sauber at Shanghai Grand Prix
Four Coventry University student journalists will be the special guests of the Sauber Formula One team at this weekend’s Shanghai Grand Prix in China.
Divided into two teams of two, they will gain behind the scenes access to the Swiss-based team for qualifying on Saturday and race day on Sunday, where they will provide live coverage from the fourth round of the 19 event competition.
It will be the first time Alex Kersten (25), John O’Brien (23), Vickki Howe (21) and Jason Craig (22) will experience the highest echelon of motorsport with a team who will be competing in its eighteenth season and chasing its first win, which has so far proven elusive.
Interviews with the team owner, Peter Sauber, and team drivers, Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi are also planned.
The opportunity has been made possible by respected automotive journalist, Andrew Noakes, who made contact with a number of teams, including McLaren, Renault, Red Bull and Mercedes Benz, before receiving the news he had been hoping for from Sven Schäfer – Sauber’s accounts and events manager.
Mr Noakes said: “The Sauber F1 team has played a very important role in its last 18 years of competition. It has a rich history in motorsport, which is something staff and students from Coventry University are proud to be associated with.
“Sauber is going through a transitional period and the students are keen to follow all the stories of their Shanghai Grand Prix weekend on our live blog at cutoday.wordpress.com,” the MA Automotive lecturer added.
The passes will allow each of the students to access the paddock – located to the rear of the pit lane, team garages including Sauber’s and the pit lane itself when closed. And with the world’s media congregating at the Shanghai International Circuit, it will allow each group to network with various news teams.
Mr Kersten from Ealing in West London, a postgraduate student at Coventry University and follower of F1, said: “I’m really looking forward to the experience; I hope to speak to some of the teams and, if at all possible, some of the drivers, particularly Michael Schumacher. I’m keen to know his thoughts on what the season will bring, and perhaps even unveil Red Bull’s aerodynamic secrets.”
The students’ work, comprising news, features and views can be viewed at cutoday.wordpress.com, a blog produced and up-dated by Coventry University’s journalism department.