McLaren has signed a rising American karting star it believes "has the ingredients to be successful" in motorsport.
Ugo Ugochukwu has been signed to a long-term agreement which provides McLaren with an option on his services in the future.
In turn, the team will support the development and evolution of the 13-year-old as he progresses through the junior categories.
Ugochukwu has so far proven to be a revelation in his young career, winning several titles in the US and Europe, most notably the FIA OKJ European Championship last year.
McLaren CEO 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.”
Team principal Andreas Seidl, who has described Ugochukwu as "a promising young talent with strong development prospects", added: "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.”
Ugochukwu has naturally declared himself "honoured to be signed by such an iconic team as McLaren Racing so early in my career".
He added: "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.”
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