The father of a young Russian driver signed up by Force India for 2016 is a billionaire.
At just 16, Nikita Mazepin will not be old enough to qualify for a F1 super licence for two more years, and so he has become a development driver on a “long term” deal.
A kart driver in 2014, Mazepin stepped into junior single seaters last year and in 2016 will contest the competitive Formula 3 euro series.
Russia’s Championat said among Mazepin’s F1 duties, including simulator work, will be a role over the course of the Russian grand prix weekend.
“The final schedule (for Mazepin) has not been approved,” a team spokesperson said, “but he will be with the team at the grand prix of Russia.”
Also noteworthy is that Mazepin’s father, 47-year-old Dmitry, is listed by Forbes as a billionaire.
He is the main shareholder of the major Russian ammonia fertiliser company Uralchem.
Meanwhile, the 13-year-old son of MotoGP legend Mick Doohan has told Australian media that he is targeting a future in formula one.
Jack Doohan won an Australian kart championship last year and told News Corp: “My dream is formula one. But it’s a long way to get there.”