Born in Vyborg, Russia, on 8 September 1984, Vitaly Aleksandrovich Petrov made his first appearance in Formula One at the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix. He did not have the opportunity to take part in karting, as many top F1 drivers have done. In 2001 he started competing in the Russian Lada Cup. He did the same in 2002, this time earning the maximum number of points (500) by winning all the rounds, thus gaining the title.
Vitaly Petrov made a move to Formula Renault racing in 2003. Racing for Euronova Racing in the Italian Championship, he finished in 19th position overall. That same year he made it to fourth position in the British Formula Renault Winter Series. In 2004 he returned to Russia for the Russian Lada Revolution Championship, where he finished in runner-up position. He also took part in the Formula Renault 2000 Italia and Eurocup, as well as the F3000 Euro series. Petrov won the Lada Revolution Championship in 2005, and also became the Formula 1600 Russia champion.
In 2006, Petrov took third position overall in the F3000 Italy series and Euroseries 3000. That same year he debuted in the GP2 series, competing for David Price Racing. During 2007 Vitaly Petrov took 13th position in the GP2 series and also participated in the Le Mans Series and Formula Master Series. He also enjoyed success in 2008, coming in third in the GP2 Asia and seventh in the main GP2 series. In 2009 he made runner-up in the GP2 Series, after two wins and seven podiums. He also got fifth in the GP2 Asia standings.
On 31 January 2010 it was announced that Vitaly Petrov would be racing in the Formula One Championship for the Renault team. He thus made his debut at the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Born on 27 June 1985 in Wiesbaden, Germany, Nico Rosberg is the son of F1 World Champion Keke Rosberg. Nico has certainly made a name for himself in the world of auto racing. He began karting at eleven years of age in 1996. In 2002 Nico Rosberg made his single-seater debut and won the Formula ADAC Championship after nine wins that season. This victory earned him a test with the Williams team.
In 2003 Rosberg moved on to the Formula Three Euro Series on his father’s team, finishing eighth overall. He continued in the series in 2004, gaining three victories. Then, in 2005, Nico Rosberg went on to take part in the inaugural GP2 Series as part of ART Grand Prix team. He won title!
Toward the end of 2005, it was announced that Rosberg would be a driver for the Williams team in 2006. It proved to be a challenging F1 debut season for Rosberg, who finished 14th overall, but also became the youngest F1 driver to set the fastest lap at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The next year proved to go much more smoothly, with Rosberg coming in ninth overall and scoring his career-best fourth place in Brazil. 2008 saw Rosberg take 13th overall. In 2009 he continued to fight for the podium, only achieving fourth places. By the end of the season he was in 7th place, with 34.5 points, having scored all of the Williams team’s points for 2009. Nico Rosberg announced on 23 November 2009 that he would be Mercedes GP team’s first driver, and was later joined by Michael Schumacher as his teammate for the 2010 season.
Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton is a British Formula One driver, born in Stevenage on 7 January 1985. His love for racing began at a young age with remote-controlled cars. He then moved onto karting at the age of 8.Lewis Hamilton quickly rose through the ranks, winning the British Championships twice and was signed to the McLaren driver development program by Ron Dennis.
In 2001 Lewis Hamilton took part in the British Formula Renault Winter Series, where he finished fifth overall. He then joined Manor Motorsport in 2002 to compete in the full Formula Renault UK series, coming in third place overall. The next year he won the Formula Renault title, with a total of 10 race victories, 11 pole positions and 9 fastest laps.
Lewis Hamilton moved on to the Formula Three Euroseries in 2004. He came in fifth place overall during that season. In typical Hamilton style he won the Formula Three Euroseries the very next year, with 15 wins, 13 pole positions and 10 fastest laps. Continuing his success, he went on to race for the GP2 team ART Grand Prix in 2006. A remarkable driver, he won the GP2 championship in his debut season.
Hamilton’s F1 career began in 2007 when he was signed with McLaren to drive alongside Fernando Alonso. Lewis Hamilton quickly showed that he was a force to be reckoned with, with errors in the final two rounds putting him in second place for the championship title, which went to Kimi Raikkonen. 2008 was a year to be remembered, as Lewis Hamilton became the youngest Formula One world champion at the age of 23.
Hamilton come in 5th place in the 2009 season, with 49 points. Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button (the 2009 championship winner) are McLaren teammates for the 2010 season.
Heikki Johannes Kovalainen was born in Suomussalmi, Finland, on 19 October 1981. The talented driver began his career in auto racing with kart racing from 1991. In 1999 Kovalainen took the runner-up position in the Finnish Karting Formula A championship. Then in 2000 he was named Finnish Kart Driver of the Year after winning the Nordic championship, the Paris-Bercy Elf Masters and various other achievements.
2001 saw Heikki Kovalainen beginning his single-seater racing career. During the year he took 4th place in the Formula Renault British Championship, 8th in the Macau Formula Three Grand Prix and was named Rookie of the Year by the Finnish Automobile Sports Federation. 2002 was another successful year, with Kovalainen coming in third overall in the British Formula Three Series with Fortec Motorsport. His five wins, three fastest laps and three pole positions meant he was once again Rookie of the Year. He also placed second at the Macau Grand Prix and fourth in the Zandvoort Marlboro Masters.
Kovalainen began competing in the World Series by Nissan in 2003, where he came in second in the standings. That same year he test drove for Renault R23 and Minardi F1 Team. He moved to Pons Racing for the 2004 World Series by Nissan and won the championship with six wins, ten fastest laps and nine poles. Renault F1 also appointed him their second test driver in 2004. Heikki Kovalainen’s success continued into 2005 as he finished the GP2 Series championship in runner-up position, as well as becoming an official Renault F1 test driver.
It was in 2006 that his F1 career really began to take off. That year he was Renault’s 3rd driver, during which he gained extensive experience. Kovalainen made his F1 debut in 2007, gaining his maiden podium with a second place finish in the Japanese Grand Prix. He took seventh place overall that season. For the 2008 F1 season, Kovalainen joined the McLaren team. The season saw him gaining his first fastest lap, first pole position and first win, placing 7th overall with 51 points. 2009 was a more challenging year for this fantastic driver, who managed to finish in 12th position with 22 points.
On 14 December 2009, it was announced that Heikki Kovalainen would join the Lotus Racing team for the 2010 F1 season.
Karun Chandhok was born on 19 January 1984 in Chennai, India. His racing career started in the year 2000, when he won seven out of the ten races of India’s Formula Maruti series, claiming the title of Indian National Racing Champion. Building on his success, Chandhok became the youngest ever Asian Formula Champion when he won the Formula 2000 Asia championship driving for Team India Racing in the year 2001.
In 2002 Chandhok signed with T-Sport, racing in the National class and finishing sixth. Remaining with T-Sport in 2003, Chandhok finished third in the National Class Series, before moving up to the main British Formula Three class in 2004, and finishing fourteenth in the standings for T-Sport. He also competed in the Nissan World Series in 2004.
In the 2005/6 racing season Chandhok competed in five World Series by Renault races, as well as three A1 GP races before handing over to Armaan Ebrahim to complete the season. In 2006 he became champion of the inaugural twelve-race Formula Asia V6 by Renault Championship after claiming seven wins and nine pole positions.
Driving for Durango in the 2007 GP2 series, Chandhok took his first win at the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit in a sprint race. He was leading in the sprint race in Turkey when Kazuki Nakajima collided with him, forcing him to retire. In November on 2007, Chandhok Chandhok tested for the Red Bull Racing F1 team at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya. However he remained in GP2 for 2008, this time for iSport International, competing in both the GP2 Asia and the main GP2 series, finishing thirteenth and tenth overall respectively. In 2009 Chandhok earned a podium finish with Ocean Racing Technology and completed the main GP2 series in eighteenth position. He also competed in the final round of the 2008/2008 GP2 Asia Series for ORT.
Chandhok has signed to drive for the Hispania Racing F1 Team (previously Campos Meta 1), for the 2010 F1 Grand Prix Championship season, with Bruno Senna as his team-mate. The first race of the season, the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix, proved to be disappointing for Karun Chandhok as he crashed after the first lap, putting him out of the race. But the season is still young, and at this stage anything is possible. What is certain is there is plenty of excitement up ahead – for drivers and supporters.