The 2023 F1 season features three newcomers who confirm the value of karting in the training of car champions. It may be interesting to look back at their karting careers.
The 28-year-old Dutchman Nyck de Vries has a special status. Considered by some to be a karting prodigy, he collected successes at the wheel of the Zanardi/Parilla with the Chiesa Corse team. He was even recruited by McLaren F1 before he ever drove a single-seater. Extremely meticulous, he has undoubtedly clocked up the greatest number of laps completed in testing during his karting career under the guidance of Dino Chiesa. He has two World Championship titles to his name, KF2 in 2010 and KF1 in 2011, ahead of Alexander Albon. He also won the European KF3 Championship in 2009 ahead of Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat. He finally found his place in F1 this year in Scuderia AlphaTauri. He can be considered a pure product of the Dino Chiesa “school” in the same way as Lewis Hamilton and Lance Stroll.
American Logan Sargeant remained loyal to Ricky Flynn Motorsport during his karting years. The 2015 KF-Junior World Championship remains his highest achievement. At 23 years of age, he will make his F1 debut this year with Williams Racing and will be reunited with other Ricky Flynn Motorsport drivers such as Lando Norris, Guanyu Zhou and Oscar Piastri.
The third rookie of the season, Australian Oscar Piastri made his European debut in a Kosmic/Parilla KF-Junior for Franck Cancelli’s Ideal Kart team before joining Ricky Flynn Motorsport in 2016. He finished P6 in the OK-Junior World Championship in Bahrain before quickly turning to single-seaters. His arrival at McLaren F1 at the age of 21 caused a stir after a few years under the Renault Sport / Alpine banner.
These three new drivers have sufficiently different profiles for the confrontation to be interesting to follow. From there, it is too uncertain to draw conclusions on the influence of their beginnings in karting.
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