# 1 – Michael Schumacher: The German-born driver, Michael Schumacher, has won seven World Championships, 91 successful Grand Prix races, and is the undisputed king of Formula 1 racing. With this kind of CV, it should come as no surprise that Schumacher was behind the wheel practically around the same time he started to walk. At the age of four, his father built his first pedal indoor go-kart with an engine. After the age of six, Michael won his first championship go-karting race. These early successes quickly led to sponsorship business, and when he was 18, Michael was both the champion of German and European go-karting. Three years later, he won the German F3 Championship and Go-Kart. Soon after, he was hired by Mercedes to drive sports cars, making his debut in Formula 1 when he was just 22.
# 2 – Ayrton Senna: – Just like Schumacher, Ayrton Senna was given his first go-kart from his father when he was only four years old. He had his first kart race at age 13 and launched first place in the competition. When he was 21, he was racing cars in the UK, and only after three years Senna made his debut in Formula 1. Over the next 10 years, he would make his mark in Formula 1, winning three world championships and 41 Grand Prix races.
# 3 – Fernando Alonso: – After winning two championships and 27 Grand Prix Races, Fernando Alonso became the youngest Formula 1 champion in history at the young age of 24. Inspired by his father, who was an amateur go-kart racer, Alonso started early by building his own go-kart when he was just three years old. At the age of seven, he participated in and won his first go-kart race. At the age of 10, Alonso had won six go-kart racing trophies. By 15, he had won the majority of the go-kart races he participated in, including a world championship. In 2000, at 19 years old, Alonso made his debut in Formula 1 racing.
# 4 – Kimi Raikkonen – Finnish Formula 1 driver, Kimi Raikkonen, might have been considered over-the-hill by the time he hopped into his first go-kart at age 10, especially compared to his companions on this list. But the racing superstar measures up all the same, when it comes to the number of races and championships won during his career. Before entering Formula 1, Raikkonen won dozens of competitions and title in Finland, Norway and Europe. With a Formula 1 championship and 18 Grand Prix wins on his list of accomplishments, it doesn’t seem like the late go-kart bloomer is planning on slowing down any time soon.
# 5 – Jenson Button – Another famous driver who got a seemingly late start on the go-kart track is Jenson Button. Receiving his first kart at the age of eight, Button made up for lost time thereafter. The British racing star, didn’t waste any time and drove to victory on his very first go-kart race. By age 17 Button became the youngest racer to win the Formula Super-A championship. BMW’s Formula 1 team signed Button not too long after his 20th birthday. As one of the youngest racers on this list he only has 1 championship and 12 Formula 1 Grand Prix wins, but there’s surely more to come. Organizations like the World Karting Association (WKA) give rise to some of the brightest stars in the world of Formula 1. With so much talent rising from the world of go karts, we are sure to see many more famous Formula 1 champions who got their start in go-karting.