Lewis Hamilton destroys Nico Rosberg in incredible go-kart victory from 2000

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

Rosberg and Hamilton go kart race

We all know about the Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg rivalry which reached boiling point when they both raced for the Mercedes F1 team from 2013 to 2016.

But did you know that they have been competing against each other since they were young lads in go-karts?

This article takes a look at one particular kart race where Nico starts ahead of Lewis, but the British driver doesn’t plan on letting it finish up that way.

Nico & Lewis go-karting

Both Rosberg and Hamilton started out their motorsprot careers in go-karts. Both drivers were born in 1985, but came from very different backgrounds.

Nico was the son of weathly former F1 world champion Keke Rosberg. He was brought up in Monaco, and Nico’s dad first sat him in a go kart when he was just 6 years old in 1991.

Lewis, on the other hand, was not brought up wealthy. His father Anthony had to work multiple jobs to afford Lewis’ racing, which began in 1993 when he was 8 years old.

Nico rosberg karting

Both young racers immediately started winning races and championships at a national level. Lewis became the youngest winner of the British Cadet kart championship and Nico was the youngest champion of a French national karting series.

By the year 2000 both drivers had been signed by the Mecedes Benz McLaren driver development program, and were now teammates karting under the MBM.com team name.

European Championship 2000

Joining the MBM.com team allowed Lewis to take his talents to Europe. Rosberg was already there, so in 2000 both drivers entered the European Championship in the Formula A class.

This was the first time the pair would go head-to-head to contest the same championship.

It was a hard fought season in which both drivers took a number of wins and podium finishes. But at the end of the season Lewis won and Nico came second.

Lewis hamilton karting

World Karting Championship

In this particular race, also in the year 2000, the young hot shots are competing against each other in Japan at the Suzuka karting circuit. This is part of the Karting World Cup in the Formula A class.

The 32-kart race features an incredible field of future talent. Some of the other drivers competing alongside Lewis and Nico that you might recognise include Robert Kubica, Christian Bakkerud, Bruno Spengler, Mike Conway, Loic Duval and José Maria Lopez.

2000 Karting World Cup Lewis hamilton Nico rosberg

Rosberg in kart 109 is starting on the front row in 2nd and Lewis in kart 110 is starting in 6th. But Nico doesn’t get a good start and before he knows what’s happened, Lewis is past him.

Hamilton is then on a mission to make his way to the front of the grid and is uncompromising with his race craft. He gets to the front, then has to put on an incredible defensive drive to hold his position from the charging pack behind until he sees the chequered flag.

Here’s the race so you can watch the action unfold for yourself.

In the end, Lewis won the race and Rosberg finished down in ninth place. A comprehensive demolition of Rosberg, one which would continue right up until Nico beat Lewis to the F1 world title in 2016, before retiring from the sport 5 days later.

CIK FIA world cup Japan 2000 finishing positions

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Alex Gassman

I‘m Alex. I write F1 and motorsport guides based on my own experience as a racing driver and full-time motorsport nerd. I’ve traveled the world watching F1 and other racing series.

I started oversteer48 with the aim of helping other motorsport fans who want to learn more about racing.

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Join the oversteer48 F1 Insider's club

I’ll send you a weekly email with insider info on the latest F1 news and results. 
Read by over 5,000 busy F1 fans each week.