Wednesday, 1 Dec, 2021

The Caribbean karter, which is already playing as a Mercedes F1 Junior

Photos: KSP reportsA Mercedes-AMG F1 protégé made a pretty impressive debut last weekend. Meet Alex Powell from JamaicaThe WSK Final Cup is often..


Photos: KSP reports

A Mercedes-AMG F1 protégé made a pretty impressive debut last weekend. Meet Alex Powell from Jamaica

The WSK Final Cup is often the last event on the karting calendar for international participants, with starting places that look very different from the CIK-FIA Karting World Championship, which takes place a few weeks before, when the drivers move up a kart category or release starting places for new names by testing them in single-seat machines instead before returning home for the winter.

The 10th edition of the competition took place last weekend, and the top of the OK field was packed with Formula 1 names.

Oliver Rowland protégé Arvid Lindblad, supported by the Red Bull Junior Team, won, Mercedes-AMG F1 Junior Alex Powell came third, Rafael Camara, the new member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, came fourth and two Sauber drivers came eighth and ninth.

All of these names have been regular front runners this year, with the exception of Powell, who made his senior karting debut.

He won his first run from pole position, then overcame a terrible result in a later run and made it back to the top by the final.

Formula Scout spoke to Powell a few weeks before his debut and just before he began preparing for his final appearance on OK Junior Karts in the World Championship.

“I’m very excited about [OK]“Powell said, unaware at the time that he would be making his debut anytime soon.

“We’ll start testing towards the end of this year so it will be interesting to see how we do next year.

“I definitely want to [do shifter karts too]. But we have to see how the year goes. Sometime in the course of 2022 I would like to do a switch disconnection and tests. It would be very interesting and cool to do a few races in concentration camps to see how it goes. “

This is the path of his colleague Mercedes junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli, who competed against Powell in mini-karts and doubled in two steps as the kart leader at the same time as he made his steps to OK and then KZ2.

Both also come from sporty families. Antonelli’s father is the Italian sports car team boss and racing driver Marco, while Miami-born Jamaican Powell is the son of Trinidadian rally driver John Powell and the cousin of the famous 100-meter sprinter Asafa Powell.

Powell goes to his father for advice on driving. “Especially at the beginning” of his karting days six years ago.

“But now he’s also learning things about karting the way I learn things,” Powell said.

“Some things are more difficult than others, but I still go to him for help and in everything I really do, I go to him because he was always there. He, my mother and my sisters, they were always there from day one, so they supported me a lot. “

That support has helped him move to Italy, where the Kart Republic factory team he drives for is based.

“I’ve been in Italy for the last two and a half years because after about a year of driving in Europe we realized that it is really difficult to go back and forth between the Caribbean and Europe. And it helped me a lot to move here. But then I also know the sacrifice my parents and sister had to make. For almost most of my families, the sacrifice they have had to make has been quite large, so it motivates me even more. “

In addition to the logistical ease of being based in Italy, Powell has also enabled it to compete against greater competition.

“We have fewer racetracks in the Caribbean. In Jamaica, for example, we have two. One go-kart track and one car track, Dover. There are fewer tracks than in Europe, but I mean, we can get by with what we have. All the drivers over there, they push with everything they have. It’s good to see that they also go karting and racing there. Hopefully one day they will get the chance to come here like me.

“We don’t have as many competitors as here. So when we have 100 here [in Italy], we have maybe 20 in Jamaica. It would be nice to see the sport grow and grow. Hopefully we can see it grow more and more in the next few years. “

Part of the growth process is being helped by the country’s strong sports infrastructure the country already has, with top-notch personal trainers and nutritionists, and of course it’s “really, really cool” for Powell to have one of the fastest runners in the world all the time that he was able to ask for advice later in his career on how to cope with the stresses and strains of top-class sport.

“I think this year was definitely a step forward,” said Powell of a 2021 runner-up in WSK’s Euro Series and third in the Super Master Series, two of the most competitive championships in junior karting.

“In some situations things could have gone a little better for me, in others I could have done a little better. So this year I’ve learned more about myself and about everything in general. But I wish I had a little better year so far.

“So I could have finished second in the European Championship, for example, but I would have finished fourth, these are just small things that make a big difference in the end. I know where I can improve and what I can do to improve, so I’m happy with this year, but I know it could have been a little better. “

On the final lap of the CIK-FIA European Kart Championship in Zuera, Powell was in second place and on course for a comfortable runner-up before colliding with champion Freddie Slater and then Tomass Stolcermanis. He immediately got out of his kart while Slater won and showed his despair on the grass.

The support from Mercedes was crucial in overcoming such disappointments.

“I was lucky enough to be accepted into the Mercedes junior program in February 2019. And since then they have helped me a lot and I know that they will continue to support me on my way.

Photo: Sportinphoto

“They definitely brought me a few sponsors and more recognition, so I am very grateful to them and look forward to working with them in the future. And hopefully one day I can drive one of their F1 cars. “

He doesn’t have to visit the team’s base in Brackley yet due to his intense karting schedule, a problem that also caused Antonelli, who recently made it to the UK and now drives in Formula 4.

“I definitely want to go there. But it’s been such hectic years, I mean, last year was definitely an upside-down year, ”explained Powell. “It was very, very strange. And this year it was very similar when it comes to racing. It’s just race weekend after weekend after weekend. So it’s very difficult. “

In addition to the events organized by CIK-FIA and WSK, his “hectic season” included the Champions of the Future series and a cameo from the German Junior Championship, but “hopenly, I can go to Mercedes in the course of the next year ”OK during the race.

curriculum vitae

age 14th
D / O / B September 18, 2007
country Jamaica

2021: 3rd in the WSK Final Cup – OK, 2nd in the WSK Euro Series – OK Junior, 3rd in the WSK Super Master Series – OKJ, 4th in the CIK-FIA European Championship – OKJ, 7th in the WSK Open Cup – OKJ, 11th in Champions of the Future – OKJ, 14th CIK-FIA World Championship – OKJ, 14th German Championship – OKJ, 14th WSK Champions Cup – OKJ
2020: Trofeo Andrea Margutti winner – OKJ, 7th in CIK-FIA Academy Trophy – OKJ, 8th in WSK OC – OKJ, 10th in CIK-FIA Euro – OKJ, 10th in Rotax Max Challenge Int. Trophy – Rotax Junior, 10th in CotF – OKJ, 15th in Florida Winter Tour – Junior ROK, 17th in WSK Euro – OKJ, 30th in Lonato Winter Cup – OKJ, 31st in CIK-FIA WC – OKJ,
32nd in WSK CC – OKJ, 54th in WSK SMS – OKJ
2019: Lonato Winter Cup Winner – Mini ROK, ROK Cup Superfinal – MROK, 3rd in WSK SMS – 60 Mini, 3rd in the Italian Championship – 60M, 5th in WSK Euro – 60M, 5th in Trofeo Andrea Margutti – 60M, 9. in WSK CC – 60M
2018: WSK FC winner – 60M, 2nd in the ROK Cup Int. Final – MROK, 3rd in WSK OC – 60M, 3rd in USA SuperNationals – Mini Swift, 3rd in Florida WT – MROK, 9th in USA Winter Series – MSwift
2017: 3rd in Florida WT – Micro ROK, 4th in Flordia WT – Rotax Micro Max, 16th in USA SuperNationals – MSwift
2016: 26th in the US SuperNationals – Micro Swift

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