Mercedes has added Chinese karter Yuanpu Cui to its young driver academy.
Cui, from the Chinese city of Xi’an, began racing professionally in 2014 and currently competes in OK Junior classes with Kart Republic.
He joins F3 front-runner Frederik Vesti, FREC racer Paul Aron, and fellow karters Andrea Kimi Antonelli and Alex Powell as Mercedes junior drivers.
China, the world’s most populated country, has never had a full-time representative in Formula 1.
It hosted a round of the championship between 2004 and 2019 at the Shanghai International Circuit, with the venue’s presence on the calendar currently suspended amid the pandemic.
Alpine Academy member Guanyu Zhou, previously part of Ferrari’s junior programme, has had Formula 1 test runs and currently leads this year’s Formula 2 championship.
Ma Qinghua participated in five FP1 sessions with the now defunct HRT and Caterham teams across 2012 and 2013, including on home soil in China, before turning to sportscars.