By Katy Gill
A British schoolboy is set to become the youngest Formula 4 driver – putting him in pole position to follow the likes of Lewis Hamilton.
Olli Caldwell, 14, dreams of joining his heroes Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Ayrton Senna as a multiple Formula One world champion in the future.
He has given himself a solid start by joining the TRS Arden F4 team, which was founded in 1997 by current Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner and his father Garry.
Formula 4, a feeder class the prestigious Formula One, is seen as a breeding ground for motorsports’ brightest talents.
Olli’s dad Martin, 48, from Hampshire, said: “It was a very proud moment when we were told last year that the team had a seat for him.
“We were very lucky in that he had several offers – it’s a very cutthroat sport.
“He’s naturally very quick and it’s great that others have seen that in him.
“Obviously it’s the dream of any driver to make it to Formula One and Olli is absolutely the same.
“It would be fantastic for him to make it.”
Olli began his racing career in karts when he was eight years old.
He was inspired to take up the sport after trying it out for a friend’s birthday party.
He enjoyed it so much that he began to take it up as a hobby.
However, his talent was soon spotted and he was encouraged to start competing in karting.
Olli will now travel all around the UK to race on such famous tracks as Silverstone, Donnington Park and Brands Hatch.
He is set for his first start at Croft Circuit, where he will only compete on Sunday 12th June, the day he turns 15.
A move to European race tracks is the next step, a couple of years down the line.
Martin said: “He’s not even allowed to take part in the qualifying on the Saturday, as he has to be 15 to drive.
“He’ll start from the back of the grid for both races on Sunday.
“Olli has loved racing ever since his friend did it for a birthday party, and he wanted to do the same.
“He did really well at it and so for about five months we would go down every Sunday for a small coaching session.
“People noticed he was very good and it just progressed from there. All of a sudden we were buying our own karts, getting a mechanic, and it was eating up almost every weekend.
“We have been really lucky because we have always been able to get sponsors to help us, but Olli has done a really good job of getting himself noticed.”
In between races, he returns home to concentrate on his schooling, where he has a dedicated tutor to help him catch up on missed lessons.
He has streamlined the number of GCSEs he will take from ten to eight to help him focus on his racing and keep his grades up.
Off the track Olli also enjoys playing tennis and scuba diving.
He is well supported by his two sisters and his parents.
Martin said: “It’s never bothered me going to the races because I really like motorsport.
“In between the races I think he does a really good job of keeping himself focused on school and trying to be a normal teenage boy.
“Obviously it’s a little different. He sees a personal trainer three times a week and has to stick to a diet.
“But his school is really engaged and supportive.”
Olli is part of the Young Racing Driver Academy.