McLaren has signed a long-term agreement with Ugo Ugochukwu, a 13-year-old American karting driver, who won last year’s FIA OKJ European Championship.
McLaren has previously supported young drivers through junior categories, most recently Lando Norris, who stepped up to its Formula 1 team in 2019.
As part of the agreement McLaren will “have an option on Ugo’s services in the future, while supporting his development and evolution.”
Ugochukwu was last year part of Sauber’s karting academy and in February joined the ADD Management stable which counts Norris among its clients.
“Ugo is a promising young talent with strong development prospects,” said McLaren’s Formula 1 team boss Andreas Seidl.
“While he is still early in his career, it is clear he has the ingredients to be successful in the sport.
“This signing reflects our refocused approach to identifying and supporting new talent, away from a formal young driver programme to a more tailored basis.”
Ugochukwu, who won several titles in his native USA prior to moving to Europe, added: “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. I’m focused right now on developing as a driver and racer, so having McLaren by my side can only help me on and off the track.”