1999

1999

It was in 1999 that Fernando was given his first opportunity in Formula Nissan. Ex-Formula 1 driver Adrián Campos, who selected the Asturian as the replacement for Marc Gené, recalls the moment: “It really impressed me. Fernando went to Albacete and didn’t start from first on the grid, but he took the lead during the race and then made a mistake. Over the course of the season he made further mistakes when he was out in the lead. I spoke to him and he said that he needed to learn how to push it to the limit throughout the whole race, and that “until I learn to do that I’m not going to stop”. In the second race at Albacete he won, and I remember saying to him over the radio: “Fernando, you’ve got a 42-second lead over the next guy, slow it down,” and he said to me: “I’m wearing my brake pads out, I can’t go any slower”. Between the first and second races in Albacete I remember having my heart in my mouth, I felt so bad for him because of the mistake he had made. It was the first race and he almost won it, but he put his arm round my shoulder and said: “Don’t worry, I’ll win the next one”, and so he did”. In Formula Nissan Fernando achieved 9 poles and 6 victories, making him the Euro Open Movistar Champion.