WAKENING IN CATALUNYA
Barcelona. We are driving on a chilly morning, on December 13, 2011. It is seven o’clock. The first rays of the sun appear on the horizon, and we are satisfied because the forecasts were correct – no rain. On the ramp, the porter asks us in Spanish: Where are you going? We respond in English: To Formula 2 testing. We are the Radola motor-sport team! Okay! – the porter replies and lets us go to the Circuit de Catalunya.
Yes, it is the famous Formula 1 track that most of us have only watched on TV until now. The trackway on which Schumacher celebrated six times, Prost three, and Senna twice. We are practically the first to arrive for testing this morning. We go to the pits and look at the cars parked like on an even keel. Sasha is impatient. Out of excitement, he did not close his eyes all night. But nervousness is also present – What if I fail? Sasha Radola is the son of our famous racing driver Ellio Radola. He is young, 22 years old, but among other things, he already has the title of the youngest Croatian automotive champion behind him. At just 18, he won it for the first time in mountain races in class N3 and N, and a year later repeated it in class N3, while in class N, he was second. He also drove part of the 2009 season in Formula Renault UK, in their pretty strong British Championship, in which Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, and many other F1 stars also drove at the beginning of their careers. And then, in his first season, Sasha managed to reach the podium in one race. And as the only driver with no previous experience in any formula car. A miracle, some of our daily media would say today, but not because they were actively following him then, as we did at the time when Pleasure magazine was only emerging, but so that they could sell their newspapers better with sensationalism. And then it was a miracle how practically, without training, he managed to reach that third place.
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