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The Next Lewis Hamilton?


McLaren signs 13-year-old karting champ

Eighteen years ago, a young Lewis Hamilton walked up to Ron Dennis, introduced himself and told the McLaren chief he wanted to drive for him one day. Thirteen years later he was, and the year after that he won the world championship. It was a turning point in F1 teams recruiting young talent, and one that McLaren is keen to continue.

With other teams launching similar programs, the Woking-based outfit has announced the McLaren High Performance Programme. Such a program could by itself refer to just about anything, from the onboard computer in the new MP4-12C to the three-legged race at the company picnic. But here it refers to the team’s young talent program, and along with it McLaren has announced its first new recruit.

Nathan Aston is only 13 years old, but, after winning the Formula Kart Stars Cadet championship, has been signed to a new dream deal with McLaren – not unlike the deal that Ferrari signed last year with 11-year-old Canadian karting champ Lance Stroll. Give it another few years – okay, maybe more than a few – and we could be seeing the two of them dicing it up for the F1 world championship. In the meantime, you can follow the jump for the full press release on McLaren’s latest hire and the program in which he’ll take part.

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