The Future of F1: Nikola Tsolov
Written By Olivia Eyeson, Edited by Ishani Aziz
Nikola Tsolov is a 16-year-old Bulgarian driver currently competing in Formula 3 with ART GP. The youngster graduated to single seater cars from karting in 2022 and has rapidly set himself on the pathway to F1.
In his karting days between 2016 to 2021 he accumulated an impressive resume. During his final season, he became X30 Senior Italian Karting and OK WSK Final Cup Vice-Champions amongst others. His success put him in the perfect position to graduate to single-seaters when he turned 15 (the minimum age required to compete in Formula 4). He competed in Spanish F4 with Campos racing and though he wasn’t officially a member of a driver academy, he was supported by Alpine as he was a member of the Alpine Affiliate Programme.
While in this category, he lived up to his nickname: ‘The Bulgarian Lion’, and dominated the field. In the 21 races, he secured 15 pole positions, 17 fastest laps, 18 podiums and 13 wins amassing to 400 points. His performance rightly impressed, and earned him a promotion to the Alpine Driver Academy.
During the winter break he only competed in the final round of Formula Regional Middle East Championship, so it’ll be interesting to see how he performs in the F3 car. The latter are wildly different to F4 cars and have drastically more downforce and speed. Tsolov will also be racing on a global scale now, and the pressures will be higher, not least due to the limited testing time. So far this season he currently stands P19 but as it's only been one round this position is susceptible to change. Let’s hope Tsolov can thrive in F3 the way he has in the past!