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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Odd names on the F1 grid

Birth certificate names
As is Spanish custom, there is a second surname on World Champion Fernando Alonso's birth certificate. It is 'Diaz' - his mother's maiden name.
McLaren Mercedes charger Kimi Raikkonen, meanwhile, has a second first name; separated with a hyphen, the 26-year-old Finn was actually born 'Kimi-Matias Raikkonen'.

But he's not the only famous Raikkonen in Finland. In 1998, a biathlete scored a bronze medal at the Winter Olympics, and his name was Ville Raikkonen.

Bet you didn't know that MF1's Portuguese racer is actually called 'Tiago Vagaroso da Costa Monteiro'. Or that the feisty Colombian in the McLaren cockpit is officially Juan Pablo Montoya-Roldan.

Similarly, you won't find too many men called 'Jarno' in Italy. The Toyota racer's parents named him after Jarno Saarinen - a Finnish motorcycle racer who died at Monza the year before baby Trulli was born.

Ralf Schumacher named his son 'David', but - laughing - has denied that a veteran Scot in a Red Bull car had anything to do with it.

More conventionally, Mark Webber and Scott Speed boast simple middle names; respectively Alan (after the Australian ace's father), and Andrew.

David Coulthard's middle name is the slightly odd 'Marshall', while fellow Brit Jenson Button has two - 'Alexander' and 'Lyons'. 'Goncalves' is Brazilian Rubens Barrichello's middle name.

Fly to Japan, however, and you won't find a single middle name. Also, Takuma Sato would be referred to as 'Sato Takuma', as family names precede given names.

Sato, too, is the most popular surname in the Land of the Rising Sun, loosely meaning 'assistance'.


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