Gloucestershire’s Zak O'Sullivan will graduate to the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship in 2021 following an impressive maiden season in single-seaters.
The 15-year-old will remain with the Carlin team for his first assault on the championship, which can count current Formula One drivers George Russell, Lando Norris and Pietro Fittipaldi among its recent alumni.
O’Sullivan finished runner-up in the British F4 championship in 2020, taking nine wins and 18 podiums and only being denied the title in dramatic circumstances in the final race at Brands Hatch.
The 2021 British F3 series will take in 24 races across four triple-header and four quadruple-header events at the UK’s top circuits, plus the iconic Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.
As an extra motivation for O’Sullivan, there will also be a test in an FIA Formula 3 car awarded to the drivers’ champion at the end of the season.
O’Sullivan, from Withington, near Cirencester, said: “My long-term goal is to reach Formula One and after a successful first season together, I’m delighted to be staying with Carlin as I take my next step towards that aim.
“I’ve already had three tests in the car and have really enjoyed it every time. It’s a sizeable step up from the F4 car and I always enjoy jumping into something quicker.
“On the face of it, the calendar is quite similar to the BTCC but we get to run on the GP versions of circuits and we also go to Spa, which will be really cool.
“I’m really looking forward to that – I’ve driven it a lot on sims but never raced on it in real life.
“I’m also pleased to be staying with my engineer Anthony Grenier as we worked well together in F4 last season. Last year went really well with Carlin and I’m looking forward to continuing that.”
Carlin team owner Trevor Carlin said: “We are thrilled to keep Zak in the Carlin family and take him to the British Formula 3 Championship where he will doubtless hit the ground running.
“He’s already been impressive in winter testing and has used everything he’s learnt in his brilliant debut season in 2020 and is applying that knowledge in the more powerful British F3 car. I can’t wait to see what he can achieve in 2021.”