Álvaro Parente bigraphy, stories - Motorsport

Álvaro Parente : biography

4 October 1984 -

Álvaro Parente (born 4 October 1984 in Porto) is a Portuguese racecar driver. Parente's father was also a race driver.


Early career

After winning the Karting European Junior Championship in 1998, Parente made his debut in auto racing in 2001 at the age of 16, driving in the Spanish F3 Championship. In the following year, he was integrated into the Team Portugal project and scored a win on his way to 4th place in the series.

Formula Three

Parente than began a more international career in 2003, moving to the F3 Euroseries with Team Ghinzani, but the Mugen-Honda engine proved to be inferior to the Mercedes and he scored a single point. He did better with one-off entries in Italian Formula 3 and at Spa in a round of the British Formula 3 Championship, his first association with Carlin Motorsport, which was repeated that year in the Macau Grand Prix.

This brief contact paved the way for a contract with Carlin for the 2004 season, where he took part in the British series, scoring another win and finishing 7th in the championship standings. He also took part in the Marlboro Masters and at Macau, but in the former the Mugen-Honda could not take the fight to the Mercedes drivers and in the latter he was taken out in the first lap.

Parente stayed in the British Formula Three for another season, and his experience helped him to win the championship with four races to go, scoring a total of 11 wins. This result made him the natural candidate to represent A1 Team Portugal for the new A1 Grand Prix series.

Formula Renault 3.5 Series

For 2006, Parente joined the Formula Renault 3.5 Series with the Victory Engineering team, and achieved his first win at Istanbul in only his fifth race in the category. He took two further wins at the Nürburgring and Circuit de Catalunya to finish fifth in the final standings. He had hoped to progress onto the GP2 Series in 2007, but a lack of sponsorship scuppered his plans. He did, however, return to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series with the French Tech 1 Racing team, having signed a contract on the eve of the first pre-season test.

2007 Formula Renault 3.5 Series championship with the Tech 1 Racing team.]]

During the 2007 season Parente took five podium finishes, including two race victories at Monaco and Spa, and was crowned World Series by Renault champion at the final round in Barcelona on 27 October.

As a prize for winning the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Parente has tested for the Renault F1 team on 17 January 2008 at the Circuito de Jerez.

GP2 Series

For 2008 Parente moved to the Super Nova Racing team in the GP2 Series, widely regarded as the primary feeder series to Formula One.

Alvaro Parente made a stunning start to his GP2 career in the opening round of the season at the Circuit de Catalunya, Parente won the feature race making him the first Portuguese driver to win in GP2 Series. Alvaro Parente led from start to finish, to claim victory ahead of Bruno Senna and Andreas Zuber. He eventually finished eighth in the drivers' championship.

Super Nova team nicknamed Parente as "Chachi", due to his likeness to the famous character in Happy Days.

In 2009 Parente participated in the GP2 Asia Series with My Team Qi.Meritus, and competed in the GP2 Series with Ocean Racing Technology, finishing eighth once again.

Parente began the 2010 season without a drive, but replaced Alberto Valerio at the Coloni team from the Belgian round onwards. On his return to the category, he scored a double podium finish, and ended the weekend as the highest scoring driver. He was replaced for the final round by James Jakes.

Parente again went into the 2011 GP2 Series season without a drive, but was called up by Racing Engineering for the second round of the championship at Catalunya. He replaced Christian Vietoris, who had complained of recurring headaches following a heavy crash at the first round in Turkey. Vietoris returned after two rounds, but Parente remained in the series by switching to the Carlin team, where he took the seat previously occupied by Oliver Turvey. After a further six races, he relinquished the seat to Mikhail Aleshin. He then returned for the season finale at Monza, ending up in 16th place in the drivers' championship.

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