Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Fourteen-year-old Ukrainian Karter Bondarev Joins Williams Driver Academy Roster

Williams Racing has announced its latest member of its Driver Academy, with fourteen-year-old champion karter Oleksandr Bondarev signing on to join their increasingly impressive roster.

Bondarev, a native of Ukraine, has already shown good pedigree during his karting, and he became the CIK-FIA Karting European Champion earlier this year having been driving karts since he was only five years of age.  He has already joined Prema’s karting team for the WSK Euro Series event in Franciacorta and will also race for them in the FIA Karting World Championship next month.

Bondarev will be given the full support from Williams, with the team aiming to nurture him through into single seaters in the upcoming years, and the teenager is excited for the opportunity.

“I am so excited to join the Williams Racing Driver Academy,” said Bondarev.  “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 [Vowles] and Sven [Smeets] have placed in me.”

Sven Smeets, the Sporting Director at Williams Racing, spoke highly of Bondarev and admitted that he has been on their radar for a little while prior to them reaching out to sign the talented Ukrainian.

“We’re delighted to announce that Oleksandr has joined the Williams Racing Driver Academy,” said Smeets.  “He’s a highly regarded young talent that we’ve monitored for some time.

“At just fourteen 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.”