Mercedes are set to back a 12-year-old British go-karter after announcing the latest crop of junior drivers the team will field in 2023.
Kenzo Craigie, who was born in 2010, raced in the British Karting Championship (BKC) for the first time in 2021, finishing ninth before a break-out year in '22.
He won the Ultimate Karting Championship Series, British Kartmasters (GP Plate), the O Plate in the BKC and ended up as runner-up in the final standings.
He is set to move up to the Junior class with Mercedes' backing, competing both nationally and internationally.
Familiar faces are on Mercedes junior programme
In 2016, Mercedes founded their own young driver academy, to rival that of Red Bull which had produced the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen for the Formula 1 team.
Mercedes had the likes of Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein as members, although the first to graduate to the main F1 team was George Russell for 2022.
The Class of 2023 range from Formula 2 right down through the ranks to go-karting.
2023 Mercedes junior drivers
|Drivers||Nationality||What did they do in 2022?||Where will they be in 2023?|
|Frederik Vesti||DEN||Formula 2 with ART - ninth in standings||Formula 2 with Prema|
|Paul Aron||EST||Formula Regional European Championship - third||FIA Formula 3|
|Andrea Kimi Antonelli||ITA||Formula 4 with Prema||FIA Formula 3|
|Kenzo Craigie||GBR||British Karting Championship||British Karting Championship - Junior Class|
|Luna Fluxa||ESP||OK Junior Karts||OK Junior Karts|
|Yuanpu Cui||PRC||OK Junior Karts||OK Junior Karts|
Ahead of the 2023 F1 season, RacingNews365.com journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth look back on a winter break laden with intrigue and controversy.