Home Features Retrospective: 2002

Retrospective: 2002

by Peter Allen

Photo: BMW AG

In light of recent news, we thought it would be a good moment to travel back ten years to a time when new Mercedes teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were just starting out in cars…

It’s been well documented that Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were teammates in international karting back in 2000, but rather than go back to then we’re going to look back ten years ago to 2002. That year they were both contesting their first full seasons in single-seaters. Rosberg was in Formula BMW ADAC in Germany, while Hamilton was racing Formula Renault UK.

With nine wins from the 20 races, Rosberg won the title at the first attempt. Hamilton meanwhile finished up third in his championship, behind champion third-year driver Danny Watts and current DTM ace Jamie Green, who was also in his rookie season out of karts.

Elsewhere ten years ago, Sebastien Bourdais won the F3000 title ahead of Giorgio Pantano and Tomas Enge – who would have been champion had he not failed a drugs test. Former F1 driver Ricardo Zonta won the World Series by Renault ahead of Franck Montagny. Ralph Firman won the Formula Nippon title ahead of his F1 chance with Jordan.

In F3, the British title was won by Robbie Kerr ahead of Australian Jaguar driver James Courtney and Renault ace Heikki Kovalaianen. Gary Paffett won the last German F3 Championship before it merged with the French Championship (won by Tristan Gommendy) to form the Euro Series. Nelson Piquet Jr won the South American title.

Eric Salignon beat Neel Jani to win the Formula Renault Eurocup as well as finishing second to Alexandre Premat in the French series. Christian Klien was German champion ahead of Bruno Spengler and Esteban Guerrieri, while Jose Maria Lopez pipped Robert Kubica to the Italian title.