Brazilian Formula 2 driver Sergio Sette Camara has joined the McLaren team’s young driver program in a test and development role.
The 20-year-old has been teammate to 2019 McLaren race driver Lando Norris in Formula 2 this season, with the pair currently ensuring Carlin sits top of the team’s championship. Sette Camara is sixth in the drivers’ championship with eight podiums to his name — while he also won at Spa last year — and joins McLaren having previously had Red Bull links in 2016.
“It’s my dream to one day become a Formula 1 driver, and I’d like to thank McLaren for giving me this incredible opportunity,” Sette Camara said. “My aim is to integrate myself in the team and work as closely with them as possible; to listen, learn and help to develop as a driver, as well as support McLaren.”
McLaren will require a new driver to carry out rookie testing duties in 2019, with Norris having fulfilled that role this season. Once a driver starts more than two grands prix they no longer count as a rookie, which should mean opportunities for Sette Camara to spend time in next year’s F1 car.
Sporting director Gil de Ferran believes the Brazilian already has the skills to be an asset to McLaren as well as expecting improvements as he develops further as part of the F1 team.
“We’re delighted to welcome Sergio to McLaren and our Young Driver Program,” de Ferran said. “We’ve been following his progress for some time and believe he is a promising young talent with a real potential. We’re looking forward to working with him to develop his skills as a well-rounded driver, while having him support our racing operations.”
Sette Camara has yet to confirm his 2019 racing plans but has been in talks with Carlin about remaining with the team for a second consecutive season in Formula 2.