McLaren have signed young Brazilian Sergio Sette Camara as the team’s test and development driver for 2019.
The 20-year-old will take the place of Lando Norris, who has been promoted to a Formula One race seat.
Like Norris, Sette Camara has been driving in Formula Two for the championship-leading Carlin team this year – he is sixth in the drivers’ standings ahead of the finale in Abu Dhabi, while the Brit is third.
“It’s my dream to one day become a Formula One driver, and I’d like to thank McLaren for giving me this incredible opportunity,” said Sette Camara, who spent one year with Red Bull’s junior driver programme in 2016 and had his first F1 test for Toro Rosso after the British Grand Prix.
“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.”
Sette Camara won last year’s F2 sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps and was runner-up at Monza as he finished his debut season 12th overall with the MP Motorsport team, just behind British team-mate Jordan King.
This year he has had eight podiums, and was also P2 in Baku before being disqualified for not having enough fuel to return to the pits, while he missed both Monaco races after injuring his hand in a qualifying crash.
“We’re delighted to welcome Sergio to McLaren and our young driver programme,” sporting director Gil de Ferran said ahead of this weekend's Brazilian GP, the home race for McLaren sponsor Petrobras, which will supply the team's fuel in 2019 and reportedly backs Sette Camara.
“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.”
Thank you Carlin, I am so grateful for the opportunities you gave me. Both in Macau 2016 and this season, I always had a great car and people around me! https://t.co/ZsSmURODtl— Sérgio Sette Câmara (@sergiosettecama) November 6, 2018