Two future F1 winners named by you

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Nico Hulkenberg and Karol Basz

Last month we discussed which junior racing drivers have what it takes to become winners in F1.

I suggested Romain Grosjean, Earl Bamber, Jaime Alguersuari and Paul di Resta, and a host of other names were put forward in the comments. Two particularly compelling suggestions were Nico Hulkenberg and Karol Basz. Here’s more about those two names.

Nico Hulkenberg

The German Lewis Hamilton? Hulkenberg won the F3 Euroseries with ART last year – the same outfit Hamilton won the title with in 2005 – and is graduating to GP2 with ART, just as Hamilton did. And like Hamilton he got off to a strong start in his first GP2 events this year.

He also has the support of an active F1 team, although his association with Williams isn’t nearly as long as Hamilton’s with McLaren. But then Hamilton can’t boast having Michael Schumacher’s manager Willi Weber in charge of his career as Hulkenberg can.

It’s not all about connections though – Hulkenberg looks the real deal on the track. If he can beat experienced rivals like Romain Grosjean and Lucas di Grassi to the GP2 title this year, expect him to reach F1 in 2010.

Read more about Nico Hulkenberg on Maximum Motorsport

Karol Basz

Poland’s Karol Basz, who was suggested by Sayonaraman, races for Robert Kubica’s kart team. Mary-Ann Horley of Kartlink explains what makes him stand out:

Karol is a very intelligent driver, and it’s unheard of for someone to win races on the first race for a new kart as he did at the WSK a couple of weeks ago. He’d also never been to the track before, so he’s a pretty quick learner. Yes, he won after an exclusion but there were 70-plus others he needed to beat to get into that position. We haven’t seen all the performance that we’re going to yet from the RK kart and the Parilla engine in 2009 either.

Karol one of quite a few who are on their second year in KF2* plus a few fast new entrants, and he does well not to get caught up in wheel-banging and general carnage while being fast enough to take advantage of others, a lot of whom are crazy to say the least.

It usually takes many years for a driver to get from karts to F1. But every once in a while a driver stands out so clearly from his junior rivals his arrival in F1 looks like a dead certainty. Could that be Basz?

Got more tips for future F1 winners? Name them in the comments…

*Mary Ann explains: “the top three levels of karting are KF3 (Juniors), KF2 (15+) and Super KF (professional drivers, open engines). KF2 is huge, there were 112 entries from all over Europe at the Winter Cup this year.”

Karol Basz

Images (C) F3 Euroseries / (Chris Walker)

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “Two future F1 winners named by you”

  1. Hulkenberg is amazing to watch – A1GP was when I first really noticed him in 2006/07 I beleive it was – he was just visibly faster than most of the others, especially in the wet – i cant remember what track it was but he was just driving as if it was dry in comparison to the others. And the two races he did in GP2 Asia – well they were certainly a good way to make himself known – put himself third in the title having done half the number of races of the rest – is a shame he wont be completing the series – I dont think the title would have been too far out of reach.

    I’m a huge huge fan of this guy – cannot wait for him to make it to F1 – this is the second season I will have been without a clear favourite in F1 – Hulkenberg is shaping up to become my new favourite – so I hope it isnt long before he gets to F1! I’m really looking forward to GP2 this year – I’ve never really beeen into GP2 quite as much as I am this year before – really want Hulkenberg to win it!

    He was really friendly when I met him at A1GP as well, spent quite a while signing things and posing for pictures and stuff which always goes down well with me – if Ralf had been miserable when I met him I actually would have cried! Luckily he was very nice and chatty, even if it was only a relatively brief encounter!

  2. I’m hoping Alexander Rossi will continue to make progress through the ranks! Maybe he can get a seat by 2012? With USF1?

  3. I don’t really think Basz proved himself as a future winner. I am not saying he isn’t very good or even exceptional driver – I’m saying, that it is too early to judge. Yes, he already proved he can be as fast as Robert Kubica, but it is still karting and a long way to go to F1 from here. Anyway, I wish him very well, I wish him to end up in F1 one day, it would be really, really great, especially that I am also Polish ;)

  4. The only question I have about how good Hulkenburg is, is probably an unfair one on him. It seems every couple of years we have a German driver who is going to be one of the best in F1. Hulkenbug is the latest. Before him it was Vettel. Before that Rosberg and before him Heidfeld although to be fair there is quite a gap there.

    The point is they can’t all be that good.

  5. If there were some American Drivers for me to route for I would watch GP2. I would like to have seen A1GP but SPEED did not get the rights. There is a lot of tallent out there but only a few seats.

  6. Don’t know about this Karol Basz considering it has been reported a few times that there are a lot of Polish fans on here. If I won a cart race or 2 would I be the next big thing? He still has a very, very long way to go. Me personally I’d replace him on this list with Brendan Hartley. Hypocrite though – I am a New Zealander, but he has more of a record and established reputation to back up my claim.

  7. If Karol Basz is a future race winner then I certainly will nominate Max Verstappen, son of former F1 driver Jos Verstappen.

    He is only 11 years, but wins about every Kart race he competes in, even if the opponents are 5 years his age.

    Last year he won the Belgium Cadet championsship with 11 out of 12 victories.

  8. A1GP is streamed live on along with live timing and live telemetry.

    On the subject of sons Jan Magnussen’s son Kevin started car racing last year.

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