Renault has announced the signing of Chinese karting protege Sun Yue Yang to its young driver academy on a multi-year deal.
Yue Yang, 15, became the first Chinese driver to finish on the podium in the World Series Karting Cup and currently sits fifth in the championship standings.
Yue Yang becomes the fifth member of the Renault Sport Academy, formed following the French manufacturer’s return to Formula 1 as a constructor for the 2016 season. Existing members include Jack Aitken, Louis Deletraz, Kevin Joerg and Oliver Rowland.
The announcement from Renault confirmed that Yue Yang will continue to ply his trade in karts for the time being before making his single seater debut at the end of the year.
“The Renault Sport Academy is a highly beneficial tool for young drivers,” Renault Sport racing director Frederic Vasseur said.
“Firstly, we thoroughly evaluate them to give the right steer through the vast motorsport landscape. Then, they are exposed to the pinnacle of technology through the F1 team and what is required to get there.
“In short, we aim to turn each Academy driver into an elite athlete, capable of performing to his or her absolute best.
“The Academy is also a tool for the Renault markets to better engage with motorsport within their own regions. We are pleased and proud to give Renault China the opportunity through the Academy to bring Yue Yang through the ranks.
“Yue Yang has shown strong potential in WSK to, with the right preparation, work his way to Formula 1. The opportunities for both Yue Yang and Renault China to benefit from this partnership are huge.”
Renault also announced a new initiative driven to find the next generation of racing drivers in Asia, with the top Chinese driver in the final three rounds of the Asian Formula Renault season set to be offered a place on the Academy for 2017.