The young Russian driver, Nikita Mazepin, makes his first step into Formula 1 becoming Sahara Force India’s development driver.

At only 16 year-old, businessman Dmitry Mazepin’s son Nikita will make his debuts in Formula One with Sahara Force India. He will take part in the development program with regular simulator sessions and several apparitions in the Formula One paddock next season.

Runner-up in the 2014 CIK-FIA world championship, he made his debuts in single-seaters last year in the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC Championship. He finished at the 12th place and scored his lone podium of the year at Red Bull Ring. He comments his Formula One debuts:

It’s an incredible feeling to join Sahara Force India. It’s the biggest step in my career and I want to thank Vijay and everyone in the team for giving me this opportunity.”

In 2016, alongside his Formula One role, Mazepin will race in the European championship of Formula 3 with Hitech GP alongside George Russell and Ben Barnicoat.

Vijay Mallya, Force India’s team manager, comments:

This is a fantastic opportunity for Nikita to begin his Formula One apprenticeship and become fully embedded inside our team.

“2016 will provide the perfect opportunity to showcase his abilities and develop the skills needed to become a Formula One driver.”

Let’s remind Force India also recruited a new test driver for 2016: Alfonso Celis jr.