Looking to the future

While most eyes in Formula 1 will be on the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend, there will be some keeping a watch on the opening round of the A1 Grand Prix series at Brands Hatch. Those with a longer view may also be watching the action at Braga in Portugal where the CIK-FIA Karting World Championship event, the highlight of the international karting season, will be held. The event will be held for the 100cc class and a look at the record books reveals that those who do well in karting generally go on to do well in cars as well. Former karting World Champions Riccardo Patrese (1974), Jan Magnussen (1990), Jarno Trulli (1991) and Tonio Liuzzi (2001) have all gone on to F1 careers, while a look at podium finishers over the years reveals a hot of other names, which include Ronnie Peterson (1966), Eddie Cheever (1974), Elio de Angelis (1975), Ayrton Senna (1979 and 1980), Giorgio Pantano (1997 and 1999) and Heikki Kovalainen (2000). In order to win, however, the youngsters must beat karting specialists like Davide Fore, the World Champion of 1998, 2000 and 2004. Fore is 31 but remains the chief challenger of the Tonykart team. Other names to watch out for will be European Champion Marco Ardigo of Italy, France's Arnaud Kozlinski, Britons Oliver Oakes and John Lancaster, Belgium's Jonathan Thonon and Italians Davide Gaggianesi and Sauro Cesetti. A total of 81 drivers from 18 nations are entered made up of 18 Frenchmen, 14 Italians, nine Britons, seven Brazilians, six Finns, four Dutchmen, four Spaniards, three Belgians, three Swiss, three Japanese, two Argentines, two Swedes and individuals from Denmark, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Luxemburg and New Zealand.

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