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From karting prodigy to motorsport mentor: The remarkable journey of Mihai Marinescu

Written by Silvia Cojocaru, Edited by Mara Simion

Image Credits:

Coming from a country where motorsport is just starting to gain popularity, Mihai Marinescu made a name for himself in the international racing scene. Being one of the few professional drivers from Romania, his story continues to inspire the new generation.

Early years

Born in the city of Brașov, Marinescu started his journey in 2000, when he entered the Romanian National Karting Championship at the age of 11. He came in third, going on to eventually win several titles.

In 2005, he moved away from karts and began racing in Italian Formula Junior 1600 and Belgian Formula Renault 1.6. The Romanian junior proved himself once again, taking second and third in the standings, respectively. 

Image Credits: Adevă

FIA Formula Two Championship

Between 2006 and 2010, Marinescu participated in multiple racing series, experiencing varying levels of success, prior to his debut in the FIA Formula Two Championship in 2010. He finished 11th and re-signed with MotorSport Vision for an additional season in 2011. He showed impressive improvements, finishing 5th overall.

On 1st October 2011 he claimed his maiden win in the Championship, becoming the only Romanian to do so. The following year in 2012 he equalled his previous Championship finish of 5th, winning two additional races.

Unfortunately, his racing career had to stop after this due to a lack of funds. The Romanian Government used to settle some of the competition costs, but in 2012 it was only able to account for about 5-10% of expenses per event, which was not enough for Mihai Marinescu to continue his racing journey.

Current career

Besides racing, Marinescu took the time to study as well, completing a Bachelor Degree in Science in 2012. He continued his studies and eventually went on to work for several teams in motorsport.

He began as a data engineer for Prema PowerTeam in 2012 and played an important role as a race engineer for Interwetten Racing in 2013 in Formula Renault 2.0 EUROCUP and ALPS.

His list of achievements extends to prominent teams like Giles Motorsports in the Toyota Racing Series during 2015 and 2017. Additionally, he has contributed his expertise as a chief race engineer at both Motopark Academy and Black Arts Racing, where he remains actively involved.

His main focus right now however, is centred on Jenzer Motorsport in FIA Formula 3, where he also works as a race engineer, helping young drivers to reach their greatest potential. In 2023, the team managed to finish first, third and fourth in the feature race in Spa, which won them the award for “Best Strategy of the Year”.

Image Credits: Mihai Marinescu on Facebook

Although he puts his racing days behind him, Mihai Marinescu continues to shape the next generation of talents, both actively through his job, and by inspiring the Romanian youth to reach for the stars. 


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