Formula 1 team Force India announced on Monday that Russia’s Nikita Mazepin had joined as a development driver.
The 16-year-old will be immersed in the team as part of an extensive development programme with regular simulator sessions and attendance at various race events during the 2016 season.
After impressing in karting with second place in the 2014 CIK-FIA World Championship, the youngster graduated to Formula Renault 2.0 in 2015 where he secured his first single-seater podium finish.
His racing plans for 2016 include a season in the Formula 3 Euro Series with Hi-Tech Racing alongside his F1 commitments.
“It’s an incredible feeling to join Force India. It’s the biggest step in my career and I want to thank Vijay Mallya and everyone in the team for giving me this opportunity. I’m still young and I have a lot to learn, so the guidance and experience of Force India is really important for my development,” said Nikita.
“My goal is to race in Formula 1 in the future and today’s news takes me closer to achieving that objective. I will work hard to help the team and do everything I can to improve my skills on and off the track.”