McLaren have signed a long-term agreement with 13-year-old American karter Ugo Ugochukwu to support him through the junior categories of motorsport, the Formula One team announced on Monday.
New York-born Ugochukwu won last year’s European FIA OKJ European kart championship after taking a string of titles in the United States.
“We’ve been watching Ugo’s progress with interest, so when the opportunity to sign an agreement with him became available, we had no hesitation moving on it,” said McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown in a statement.
“Now we’ll focus on giving Ugo the right support when he needs it to help him fulfil his potential.”
McLaren’s most famous junior signing was Britain’s Lewis Hamilton, now a seven times world champion, who was backed by the Woking team and Mercedes from the age of 13 and made his F1 debut in 2007.
Hamilton won his first F1 title with McLaren in 2008 and moved to Mercedes in 2013.
“I’m honoured to be signed by such an iconic team as McLaren Racing so early in my career. To have the support of McLaren is fantastic and what any young driver dreams of,” said Ugochukwu.
IN PHOTO: American 13-year-old karter Ugo Ugochukwu, who has signed a long-term agreement with McLaren, the Formula One team that took on world champion Lewis Hamilton at the same age, poses for a picture, at unknown location, March 2021. McLaren Racing/Handout via REUTERS