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Kiwi teenage driver 'one step closer to Formula One dream'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

14-year-old racing driver Louis Sharp has today moved a step closer to realising his Formula One dream, being confirmed as a driver for the prestigious motor racing team Carlin in the upcoming 2022 British Formula 4 season.

The Christchurch teen will head to England this weekend to begin testing with Carlin, the same team kiwi driver Liam Lawson has joined for the 2022 Formula 2 season.

Louis Sharp says he’s still pinching himself he's joining such an illustrious team.

"It's all a dream come true. I'm excited to kick off my journey with Carlin, the same team as Liam where the likes of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo also raced," says Louis.

Sharp and Lawson's close links don't end there, both are being backed by Rodin Cars in Mt Lyford north of Canterbury.

Rodin’s Founder David Dicker, who has an eye for spotting young motorsport talent, was instantly impressed with Sharp during the Super GT NZ Series in January.

"The talent is evident, as is Louis passion, I am happy to support young motorsport enthusiasts helping themselves to succeed," says Dicker

Despite his age, Sharp’s rise up the motorsport ranks has been meteoric.

At 12, he was New Zealand’s most successful age group karter, claiming more national titles and series wins than any other age group racer. His success on the world stage also earned him selection into the FIA Academy as one of the world’s most promising talents.

He was also hand-picked by kiwi Supercars ace Fabian Coulthard for the Australia Young Driver Scholarship. Coulthard says the 14-year-old is defying his age.

"I've watched Louis' performances over the years, and he has impressed with not only his ability on the track but also his maturity. I know Louis will get the job done wherever he races," says Coulthard.

Incredibly after switching from karts and making his Formula Ford debut in October 2021 Sharp is already sitting on top of the championship leaderboard.

And just last month he tested the Rodin Cars Formula 3 car, breaking the F3 Rodin track record previously held by World Champion and professional British driver Jamie Chadwick.

"I really enjoyed the opportunity to step into Rodin Formula 3 car. It was heavier and much faster than my Formula Ford to drive, but I really liked it, especially the way the downforce worked when I pushed it hard through the corners to make it fast", says Sharp.

It's that skill and desire that Rodin Cars founder David Dicker believes will see Sharp go all the way and represent New Zealand in Formula One within the next 3 to 5 years.

"It’s really up to Louis where this journey will lead him. I have merely absorbed the financial restraints, enabling Louis to focus on what he does best. I have full faith Louis will put New Zealand on the international motorsport map," says Dicker

Despite such lofty predictions, Sharp is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.

"My goal is F1, I know there is a lot of hard work required to make it but this support means I can concentrate on being the best I can be on the track," says Sharp.

Now the next step in the journey begins in the Formula 4 series in the UK starting next month. However, Sharp's debut will be delayed by one race as he waits to turn 15 in May... the legal age to drive in the competition.

More evidence that this young kiwi driver is well ahead of his years and racing towards the big time.

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