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.
Russian Grand Prix
Hamilton hails Mercedes after securing history-making 100th win in the wet
"Now we’ll focus on giving Ugo the right support when he needs it to help him fulfil his potential."
Ugochukwu said: "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.”
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal for McLaren F1, said: "Ugo is a promising young talent with strong development prospects. 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."
Italian Grand Prix
Ricciardo leads home McLaren one-two after Hamilton and Verstappen crash
British Grand Prix
'A bit traumatised' - McLaren chief unhappy after Norris mugged at Wembley