Karim Ojjeh looks back on his first laps on the Monza circuit

No, the season has not officially started, but we did go testing Friday, for the first this season in Monza, Italy. It was a way to clean the attic and rub off the spider webs!

The car : BMW worked hard during the off season, making a number of changes to the car: front, rear brakes, some aero changes to both front side-planks and rear wing, the rear geometry, as well as the differential. However, the biggest improvement was in the software – better traction managment … etc. Some are a little confidential!

Philipp Enge, official BMW works driver, joined me for the test. We were VERY lucky with the weather. It had rained very hard the day before. On the day of the test the track was drying. We started on wets, and by 10:45 slicks were mounted!

Philipp did some installation laps, made some changes to the set up and set a fast time. It was then my turn to run the car. It was a great sensation to be back. It went smoothly. Philipp and I reviewed some telemetry and sectors to improve. The day went well and we finished with 450 kilometers of testing. It was then time to pack and drive back home.

Some news on my new & established sponsors for the year

Safra National Bank of New Year (new)
I would like to welcome Safra National Bank of New York to motor racing. I am super pleased. The bank establishes itself as a “sustainable” bank, thus environmentally conscious. This was tricky – how does a bank sponsor a racing driver? In 2009 I was somewhat a precursor by offsetting my carbon emission by funding the Borneo Tropical Rainforest Foundation. A detailed study was done at the time in calculating my emissions during my 2008 season by racing in the European Le Mans Series and Le Mans. Interestingly, 70% of of the carbon emission was caused by the trucks themselves transporting the car from circuit to circuit! I decided to take the 2008 calculation and increasing it by 50%! We agreed, it was well above my carbon emission this season.

Myclimate (new)
To continue the story above, I chose Myclimate to offset my carbon emission. I invite you to look at their site: myclimate.org.

FP Journe (established)
Francois-Paul Journe is personally one of the top watch makers in the world! His commitment to precision is second to none. But it is his inventions in watch making mechanism that makes him a genius and surpasses the best! I am super honored to have met sometime ago and befriend him!

Till next time … next Saturday testing in Spa!