McLaren, a British Motor Raving Team, has signed Ugo Ugochukwu, a 13-year old son of famous Nigerian model Oluchi Onweagba, to a long term deal.
This was disclosed by McLaren via its Twitter handle on Monday.
The FIA European Karting champion was signed at the same age as the famous Lewis Hamilton.
Team Principal, Andreas Seidl explained how McLaren will continue to identify and sign young talent such as Ugochukwu.
McLaren Racing is pleased to announce a long-term agreement with Ugo Ugochukwu, the promising young driver from the USA. ?
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) March 22, 2021
He said: “This signing reflects our refocused approach to identifying and supporting new talent, away from a formal young driver programme to a more tailored basis
“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.”
McLaren’s Chief Executive Officer, Zak Brown gave an insight into how long the team have been watching Ugochukwu’s progress in prestigious karting competitions such as the FIA’s European Championship, and the Challenge of the Americas Junior Championship that he won in 2018
He 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, who began his karting career in New York State in 2013, 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.”
Meanwhile, the Director-General, Nigerians in Diaspora, Abike Dabiri, has congratulated the young talent via her Twitter handle on Monday.
She tweeted, “Congrats to 13-year old Ugo Ugochukwu, son of Super model Oluchi Onweagba as he becomes the first Nigerian to win a world karting championship, and get signed by McLaren to race in Formula 1 when he grows older.”
Congrats to 13-year old Ugo Ugochukwu, son of Super model Oluchi Onweagba as he becomes the first Nigerian to win a world karting championship, and get signed by McLaren to race in Formula 1 when he grows older.#ProudlyNigerian
— Abike Dabiri-Erewa (@abikedabiri) March 22, 2021
What you should know
- Ugochukwu, who has been described as a “revelation” by McLaren, was victorious in the 2020 FIA OKJ European Champoinship and has also won various national and international karting accolades in his native USA and in Europe.
- The Working team have a history of picking rising stars, with Hamilton, Kevin Magnussen, Stoffel Vandoorne and Lando Norris all alumni of their “tailored” young driver programme.