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Mikaela meets Francesco

Grip at the Contidrom & bobsleigh at Winterberg

Never say never because limits, like fears, are often just illusions"

Michael Jordan


Are you someone who craves the thrill of speed, the roar of engines, and the prowess of high-performance athletes? If so, you're in for a treat! In this exciting Continental tire content, we'll take you on a journey that's tailor-made for adrenaline junkies.

Mikaela Kottulinsky and Francesco Friedrich, are no strangers to the world of high-speed action. Mikaela, a seasoned expert in touring car racing, rallycross, and Extreme E, knows how to push a car to its limits like no other. On the other hand, Francesco Friedrich multiple Olympic champion, thirteen-time world champion, and the most successful bobsledder of all time, making him an absolute powerhouse in his field.

Both sports stars

A common thread: materials and excellence

What ties these two extraordinary athletes together? It's more than just their incredible success; it's their shared understanding of the critical role that top-notch materials play in their respective fields. For Francesco, it's all about the runners on his bobsleigh, while for Mikaela, it's the tires on her racing car.

As they say, confidence in your equipment can be the difference between victory and defeat. Safety is paramount, but when milliseconds separate winners from the rest, the right materials are the unsung heroes of the game.

A day at the Contidrom

So, fasten your seatbelts, hold onto your helmets, and get ready for a ride that combines speed, skill, and a deep dive into the world of materials that drive these athletes to greatness. Because Mikaela and Francesco pushed the boundaries of the Continental tires performance at the Contidrom. This two-part series kicks off with a challenge that will get your heart racing.

Equipped with Continental SportContact 7 tires, not the typical racing slicks but tires for drivers that want to experience high-performance in a completely new way. The track is set, and the excitement is palpable.

Mikaela, with her racing expertise, introduced Francesco to her world of blistering speed as they headed to the Contidrom. There, they explored the intricate connection between athletes, their machines, and the materials that made it all possible. 

With Francesco behind the steering wheel of the Golf GTI, the journey begins. He navigates the twists and turns of the Contidrom, pushing the limits of these high-performance Continental tires. Mikaela, from the passenger seat, can't help but ask, "What percentage of the tire's performance do you think you used?" Francesco's candid response? "I'd say... around 80%."

Mikaela's laughter suggests it might be closer to 60%, but she's ready to show Francesco how to squeeze even more performance from these tires.

Francesco driving

Episode 2: Bobsleigh at Winterberg

Ever tried to slide down an ice track with a tire? Welcome to part two, in which Francesco shows Mikaela what it takes to be the best on the ice track. While racing with cars and bobsleigh may seem worlds apart, these two sports share surprising similarities in terms of precision, speed, and preparation. Both require athletes to navigate a predefined course with a focus on achieving the fastest time possible. In racing, tires are preheated to an optimal temperature prior to the race, while in bobsleigh, the bob's runners are also maintained at an optimal temperature of +4°C to ensure peak performance. Ultimately, the thrill of speed, the quest for precision, and the necessity for seamless teamwork unite these seemingly disparate sports in their shared pursuit of excellence.

Switching seats, it's Mikaela's turn. The engine roars to life as she takes the Golf GTI for a spin. With the Continental SportContact 7 tires providing impeccable grip and stability, she navigates the Contidrome's curves with precision and grace.

"We typically utilize only about 60% of a tire's actual performance, which highlights the true capabilities of tires." Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky

"Feel that?" Mikaela asks Francesco, "That stability and precision, that's what makes a great tire." Francesco, clearly impressed, remarks, "It feels almost as safe as my bobsleigh.“

Mikaela driving

As the day unfolds, Mikaela and Francesco explored the technical details and intricacies of their respective disciplines. They shared insights, laughter, and the thrill of speed. The Contidrom was the perfect stage for this dynamic duo, and their partnership promises even more excitement in the episodes to come.

So, fasten your seatbelts and stay tuned. In the next installment of this two-part series, Francesco will take Mikaela to the ice track, introducing her to the world of bobsleigh. It's a thrilling ride of camaraderie, expertise, and pure adrenaline that you won't want to miss.

Mikaela and Francesco next to the car

Meet the champions

Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, a racing prodigy, ignited her career at 12 in go-karts. In 2011, she secured second place in the FIA Women in Motorsport's shoot-out, earning a spot in the 2012 Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup.

Her Scirocco R Cup victory in 2014 marked her as the first woman to win in a Volkswagen-supported championship. Subsequently, she ventured into various racing series. 

In 2022, Mikaela joined Rosberg X Racing for the Extreme E championship, departing from PWR Racing in search of more racing opportunities. She teamed up with Johan Kristoffersson and won the first 2022 season round in Neom, Saudi Arabia.

Racing runs deep in her family, with her grandfather, Silesian Count Freddy Kottulinsky, winning the 1980 Paris-Dakar Rally. Her father, Jerry Åhlin, and mother, Susanne Kottulinsky, have their own impressive racing histories, and even her younger brother, Fredrik Åhlin, is a rally driver. 

Mikaela Kottulinsky

Francesco Friedrich, also known as "Franz," made a significant shift from athletics to bobsleigh at the age of 16. His older brother, David, initially joined him as a pusher until injury intervened.

Friedrich has secured numerous gold medals, notably winning both the two-man and four-man events at the 2018 Winter Olympics and repeating this feat at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. His dominance extends to the IBSF World Championships, where he secured 13 titles between 2011 and 2021. Friedrich also champions children's heart medicine projects as an ambassador.

As the youngest-ever two-man bobsleigh world champion, his career is defined by excellence. He's a member of the Federal Police's top sports promotion group and lives in his hometown, Pirna, Saxony, with his wife and son.

Francesco Friedrich

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