McLaren have signed Nigerian-American karter Ugo Ugochukwu to a long-term deal to support his development through motorsport’s junior categories.
The 13-year-old has won a host of titles since he began karting in 2013. Last year, he won the FIA OKJ European Championship.
The company, asides providing support for his career, also agreed “an option on Ugo’s services in the future”.
McLaren chief executive Zak Brown said: “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.
“Now we’ll focus on giving Ugo the right support when he needs it to help him fulfil his potential.”
Ugochukwu has already competed in both the United States and Europe and is currently in the OK Senior class of karting.
The Nigerian-American boy said he was honoured to be signed by an iconic team so early in his 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,” he said.
Uguchukwu’s mum, the supermodel and pioneer of M-Net Face of Africa Oluchi Onweagba, shared her excitement in an Instagram post.
“Thank you GOD! Angels in the heavenlies Thank you. Watch over your Son. @ugougochukwu. It’s beyond us,” she wrote.
McLaren famously signed Lewis Hamilton when he was 13 after an impressive start to his racing career. The Briton went on to enter F1 with the Woking team and won his first world F1 world title with them in 2008 aged 23.