Red Bull Air Race pilot Mika Brageot of France will take off at the traditional season opener in Abu Dhabi on 8-9 February with a new official Team Partner: eyetime. After finishing 2018 – only his second World Championship campaign – at a remarkable fourth in the standings, could an overall podium be in his sights?
Spectators on Abu Dhabi’s famed Corniche this Friday and Saturday will be quick to notice Brageot’s colourful new livery. His raceplane was already a standout as the only MXS-R in the World Championship, and now its paint design showcases the distinctive eyetime splash. Sanding down and repainting the raceplane was a significant task in the short 10-week break between races, but Brageot is pleased with the outcome and what it represents.
“eyetime is an innovative app that’s a great match for our dynamic team,” says the Frenchman, who at age 31 is the youngest pilot in the World Championship. “The support of our fans around the world is a key part of our success, and our collaboration with eyetime offers opportunities to step up communications and engagement. We’ll be working hard to deliver exciting times and results all season long.”
Also supporting Brageot’s season are three returning personal sponsors, luxury watch brand Breitling, French insurance company AGC and fractional ownership specialists Jetfly. The #11RACING team who helped Brageot to achieve his 2018 milestones remains the same, with Team Coordinator Victoria Griffiths, Tactician Max Lamb and Technician Anthony Bezard all returning.
“We’ve built strong relationships over two seasons together, and now is the time to consolidate everything we’ve learned,” says Brageot. “It will be our main focus to get a good start and not be on the back foot, especially concentrating on a good Qualifying – which is important not only to determine brackets in the opening Race Day head-to-heads, but also because there are now points at stake.”
In a revision of the rules, World Championship points will be awarded on Qualifying Day: three points for the fastest, two for second place, and one for third. Given that the title was decided by a mere five points in 2018, excellence in Qualifying sessions might make a crucial difference at the end of the season.
In a further change to the points scheme, more World Championship points will be awarded for advancing through the Race Day rounds, which may serve Brageot well: the pilot advanced to the Round of 8 in fully 75 percent of his 2018 races and twice appeared in the Final 4, including the race at Budapest, where he logged his career-first race podium in second place.
“That first podium felt great and we’re aiming to build on that success,” Brageot comments. “Ever since we arrived here in Abu Dhabi, we’ve been working to implement plans for improving the weight and aerodynamics of the plane, which should lessen the drag and help with its general flyability. Now we’re ready to go. This is a beautiful place to race, and we’re excited to start the season!”
See Mika Brageot and #11RACING Team Eyetime launch their 2019 campaign. For ticket information and all the latest news on the Red Bull Air Race, visit www.redbullairrace.com.Email This Post