Zsolt Baumgartner was Hungary's first and only Formula 1 driver, who spent a season with Minardi in 2004. Though his pedigree in the lower echelons of motorsport wasn't impressive, Baumgartner did a decent job in Formula 1, scoring Minardi's only point of the 2003 season at Indianapolis. After collecting some experience in karting, Baumgartner, the son of a major Hungarian Renault dealer, raced for the Prost Junior team in Formula Renault. He later spent some time in German Formula 3 with the GM and MOL-Trella teams. Though he was a regular in the top 10, Baumgartner won no races with a 4th spot at Hockenheim and the Norisring among his best performances.
Graduating to Formula3000, Baumgartner spent some time at the back of the grid, scoring only one point in two seasons. Finding his way into Formula 1 as a test driver for the Jordan team, Baumgartner made his debut when Ralph Firman suffered a horrific accident during the Hungarian GP's free practice. He also stood in for Firman in Monza, coming in 11th. In 2004 Baumgartner joined Minardi, lining up next to the much acclaimed Gianmaria Bruni. His debut was greeted by lots of criticism, especially from the British media, aimed at his lack of results in his junior years.
Surprising to some, it was Baumgartner who brought home the bacon for Minardi with the out-of-date PS04 -an evolution of the 2002 car- coming in 8th at Indianapolis and scoring a crucial point for the team. The second best performance of the season was also for the Hungarian, a 9th spot at Monaco, albeit a whopping 6 laps down. After the 2004 season, Baumgartner left Formula 1. In 2007 he joined Paul Stoddart across the Atlantic Ocean for the Australian's Champ Car project where he was a test driver but never competed in a race.