British Formula One team Williams Racing have signed 14-year-old Oleksandr Bondarev for their Driver Academy. The 2023 FIA Karting European Champion becomes the latest member of the Williams Racing Driver Academy.
A winner of the Rotax Max Challenge Ukraine, Bondarev has been racing since he was five. He was recently announced as the 2023 CIK-FIA Karting European Champion, becoming the first person from Ukraine to win the championship.
Bondarev is a member of PREMA Racing’s karting team for the WSK Euro Series and will be competing in the FIA Karting World Championship later this year.
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Oleksandr Bondarev spoke about his signing with the team, stating:
“I am so excited to join the Williams Racing Driver Academy. Williams Racing is one of the most iconic teams in motorsport, having had some of the best drivers in the sport race for them and it is an honour to have the chance to be part of that history.
“Since I was five years old, when I began karting, I dreamt about Formula 1. I have a long way to go, of course, but this is a huge step for me. I always knew that becoming part of an F1 young driver programme was crucial and I will work hard to repay the confidence and belief which James and Sven have placed in me.“
Sven Smeets, Sporting Director at Williams Racing, added:
“We’re delighted to announce that Oleksandr has joined the Williams Racing Driver Academy. He’s a highly regarded young talent that we’ve monitored for some time. At just 14 years old, he already has several impressive achievements to his name, including the 2023 FIA-CIK European OKJ Championship. Oleksandr has shown a lot of potential at an early age and we look forward to supporting his development as he continues his journey in karting.“