McLaren junior driver Ugo Ugochukwu will move up from karts to cars in 2022 to race with Carlin in British F4. The teenager will turn 15 on the eve of the championship, and is the first driver to be announced in Carlin’s 2022 line-up.
The ADD Motorsport-managed driver began racing at six, and won the 2014 Micro Rok Championship, the 2017 International Open X30 Mini Championship and the 2018 Challenge of the Americas Rok Junior Championship. He further cemented his credentials by claiming the 2020 FIA OKJ European championship, and signed a long-term development contract with McLaren earlier this year. He spent 2021 racing in the FIA European OK Senior class, claiming seventh overall.
“I’m really excited to move up to British F4 next season and follow in the footsteps of many talented drivers,” said Ugochukwu. “I feel very comfortable with Carlin and our pre-season preparations are already going well. There will be a lot to learn but I have a great team around me to help deal with all the challenges. I can’t wait to get going.”
Carlin won the inaugural season of what was then called MSA Formula in 2015 with Lando Norris before Max Fewtrell claimed the title in 2016, and Jamie Caroline in 2017. After a one-year sabbatical from the championship, Carlin returned in 2019 with Zane Maloney who claimed the title in his rookie season. Carlin’s 2020 rookie Zak O’Sullivan lost out on championship honors by just four points.
“Ugo is an exciting new talent and we’re delighted to have him with this for this first step on the single-seater ladder,” said team principal Trevor Carlin. “Despite his very young age, Ugo is doing a great job in winter testing. He’s quietly taking it all in and making big improvements with every session; the sign of a driver full of potential.
“The F4 British Championship is a fantastic series in which to learn and the incorporation of the new Tatuus T-421 makes the series even more relevant. The new car will be a real leveller for all teams and drivers but having produced four driver champions and numerous team titles, we’re determined to start this new era of F4 as strongly as possible.”