McLaren signs long-term deal with karting star Ugo Ugochukwu
(CNN) — McLaren Racing has signed a long-term agreement with 13-year-old Ugo Ugochukwu, a promising karting champion from the United States.
Ugochukwu has already claimed several titles in the US and Europe and was recently crowned FIA European karting champion.
His deal with McLaren, which was announced on Monday, provides the team with an option on Ugochukwu’s services in the future while also supporting his development through motorsport’s junior ranks.
“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 CEO Zak Brown.
“Now we’ll focus on giving Ugo the right support when he needs it to help him fulfil his potential.”
McLaren has a history of signing future Formula One stars from a young age.
Lewis Hamilton, Kevin Magnussen, Lando Norris and Stoffel Vandoorne have all progressed through the team’s young driver program to star in F1.
Norris is entering his third full season with McLaren in F1, while six-time world champion Hamilton was the same age as Ugochukwu when he first signed a deal with the team.
“I’m honored to be signed by such an iconic team as McLaren Racing so early in my career,” said Ugochukwu, who started racing in New York State in 2013.
“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.”
Ugochukwu is the son of Italian fashion designer Luca Orlandi and Nigerian model Oluchi Onweagba.
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