Sergio Sette Camara, Formula Two, 2018

Sergio Sette Camara joins McLaren young driver programme

2018 F1 season

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McLaren has signed Sergio Sette Camara to its young driver programme. The 20-year-old will be the team’s test and development driver.

The Brazilian is currently racing in Formula Two as team mate to Lando Norris, who will race for McLaren in 2019.

Camara was previously a member of Red Bull’s junior team and tested for Toro Rosso in 2016. He lost his place on the programme at the end of the season after finishing 11th in European Formula Three.

In 2017 he moved to F2 with MP Motorsport and won the sprint race at Spa. He has been consistently close to Norris at Carlin this year, finished on the podium eight times, and lies sixth in the championship.

“It’s my dream to one day become a Formula 1 driver and I’d like to thank McLaren for giving me this incredible opportunity,” he said.

McLaren has announced Camara’s appointment ahead of the Brazilian round of the world championship. The race is also significant to the team as the home event for its fuel supplier Petrobras.

The team’s sporting director Gil de Ferran described Camara as a “promising young talent with a real potential”.

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2018 F1 season

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Sergio Sette Camara, Toro Rosso, Silverstone, 2016
Camara tested for Toro Rosso while he was a Red Bull Junior Team member in 2016

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 19 comments on “Sergio Sette Camara joins McLaren young driver programme”

    1. As far as money driven appointments go, there’s far worse than him. He’s fast.

      1. If we take the direct comparison against Norris in the same car and in the same team, he’s, at least, as good as Norris.

        1. And also better than Latifi and Mazepin at Force India, vastly better than Gelael at Toro Rosso, etc. Very good signing by McLaren.

        2. Indeed @miani, to me he was one of the pleasant surprises of this season of F2. He has earned his place in racing IMO.

    2. Another one bites the dust

    3. A “promising young talent with a real potential” ….to give us money

      1. Actually he was 5-5 against Norris in qualifyings (excluding a qualify that he had car problems).
        His position in the championship isn’t a reflex of his performance, he was the most consistent driver this year in F2.

    4. Pirelli made sure that I will never buy any of their products, same goes for McLaren and thank goodness Williams doesn’t build anything…..

      1. But do you see that F1 Pirelli tyres have little to no correlation to retail Pirelli tyres.
        Honda Accord/Civic engines do not blow up as much as recent F1’s

    5. Guessing he comes with financial backing… or maybe McLaren have hired the same drunk who chooses their tyre compounds for race weekends in charge of their young driver program as well.

      Such a sorry state of affairs at McLaren within a couple of seasons. They go from a line up of two world championship winning drivers with a dominant GP2 champion in the wings, to a mediocre midfield driver and GP2 runner up pairing with a pay driver in the wings.

      1. He compared fairy well to Norris this year, so I would not say pay driver..

        1. So he nearly matched a driver that failed to impress in F2 anyways. Not too promising.

      2. He never had a major financial backing, it’s a bunch of small companies. Maybe Petrobras will back him now, but until this moment there’s no link between them.

    6. Decent driver, young too so still has room to improve. Shouldn’t have been but I was shocked how quickly his Red Bull Backing ended.

      1. He improved a lot this year and as you said he’s young. At the end of next season he will be still fresh material. But his only real chance of a seat is winning F2. Norris and Russell departure will made that easier, but we can expect Mick Schumacher, Vips, Armstrong (maybe Ticktum?) and some others good GP3 drivers to do F2 next year too.

    7. As part of the global show, F1 needs a Brazilian driver.

      1. @emu55 Also my favourite to win F2 next year. Interlagos is on the rocks, so lets see if he goes to STR for 2020 if McLaren is full.

    8. I suppose the best way of expressing my feeling is I’m not overly excited about Norris, and I’d put Camara a little bit below him in my F2 2018 pecking order (both behind Russell).

      But I think Camara will benefit from a third year in F2 in 2019, and there’s a chance he’s got the potential to end up better than he looks. And I like to see Brazil represented in F1, so that’s another positive.

      Bit odd to join McLaren, though. They’re in a horrible place and have no junior team… bit of a dead end unless your manager is also your boss.

    9. But are any of these youngsters going to make up 6 places on the first lap, destroy engine partner relations and still find time to sunbathe at trackside? Didn’t think so. They got a lot to learn about racing in the big leagues.

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