Championship-winning esports racer Bolukbasi lands Formula 2 drive with Charouz

Formula 2

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Championship-winning esports racer and former F1 Esports competitor Cem Bolukbasi will make his Formula 2 debut with Charouz this year.

After racing karts Bolukbasi joined the inaugural F1 Esports series in 2017 and later raced for Toro Rosso’s team.

He made his single-seater racing debut in 2019, aged 21, while continuing to race in esports. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck last year Bolukbasi won the Formula Renault Eurocup Esports series.

Last season Bolukbasi appeared in the Asian Formula 3 series where he finished ninth. He raced more competitively in Euroformula Open, ending the season fifth overall despite missing the first nine of 24 races. Over the 15 races he took part in Bolukbasi won twice, losing a potential third win due to a penalty, and took six other podium finishes.

Bolukbasi drove for Van Amersfoort in last month’s Formula 2 test at Yas Marina but will make the step up to F2 with Charouz.

“I worked so hard to get an opportunity like this,” said Bolukbasi. “First of all I want to thank Charouz for putting their trust in me, I’ll do my very best to honour it.

“I obviously can’t wait to get in the car for the testing sessions, after my first taste of an old GP2 car later last year. It’s as close as you can get to a Formula 1 car and I’m fully determined to give my 110% to learn how to master it and prove my potential as a driver.”

Team owner Antonin Charouz is confident Bolukbasi will quickly make up for his lack of experience in F2 machinery and at some of the 14 tracks the series will visit this year. “It will be a challenging and exciting new experience for him, but he has already shown that he has the numbers to learn quickly and get some good results in some of the most competitive and difficult Formula 1 feeder categories.”

Formula 2 drivers confirmed so far

ARTTheo PourchaireTBA
CamposRalph BoschungTBA
CarlinLogan SargeantTBA
CharouzCem BolukbasiTBA
DAMSRoy NissanyTBA
MPFelipe DrugovichClement Novalak
Van AmersfoortTBATBA
VirtuosiJack DoohanMarino Sato

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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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  • 17 comments on “Championship-winning esports racer Bolukbasi lands Formula 2 drive with Charouz”

    1. That’s…brave.

      1. Not really. He’s done karting for years and done some single-seater/GT racing. The story isn’t “simmer races F2”. It’s “Race driver, who become a decent eSport driver, enters F2”.

      2. I haven’t seen him race and I thought the same, but I looked at his results, and he did pretty good in Euroformula Open last year for his first year in an F3 car. Still, it’s likely going to be a step too high going into F2 at 23 without that much open wheel experience, probably should have gone for an F3 seat.

        1. Friendly reminder: Current WDC didn’t do F2 and entered F1 with one year of F3 under his belt.

          1. Yeah duly noted…but it’s still a huge step from F3 to F2. Just because one of the greatest talents of all time did it doesn’t mean everyone can.

            1. Im pretty sure nearly every F2 driver has taken a similar step at some point….
              And nearly every current younger driver also does sim racing, so yeah…
              The story is just that he is the first F1 eSports driver to race in F2, which is pretty cool.

          2. and I think that might not have been a good step.
            Verstappen did his learning in F1, where others do that in F2…

      3. It does seem like quite a bit step up right into F2 yeah @geemac.

        From the results mentioned in the article he seems to have made quite a development in single seaters since he got into a bit of a spotlight with the e-racing thing @hunocsi, makes sense that he used that opportunity to restart his real life racing career (kart racing 2007-2012) – see what Alan wrote.

    2. Reading the headline I thought “Wow – remarkable”.
      Having read the article he is obviously an accomplished driver already in real life as well.

      All the best to him I hope does well.

    3. Bolukbasi drove for Van Amersfoort in last month’s Formula 2 test

      Should be Formula 3, van Amersfoort are not in F2.

      1. @wsrgo

        Should be Formula 3, van Amersfoort are not in F2.

        He definitely tested for Van Amersfoort in Formula 2 in Abu Dhabi. They’re replacing HWA.

        1. @keithvollantine Well, serves me right to shoot my mouth off before doing my research! Had no idea they were replacing HWA, kind of surprised but then again, VAR are a household name in motorsport. Hope they have a good season.

    4. Although he has some single seater experience , he was last in the Abu Dhabi F2 test. Perhaps it was his first time driving something this fast. Seems like 2.7 seconds off the 1st and more than a second off the pace of the second the last guy. Interesting choice but I am sure the team is confident in his abilities. All the best and good luck to him, he needs to prepare well this winter.

      1. also he finished euroformula 5th despite missing the first 9 races!

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