Sean Walkinshaw Racing, the junior open-wheel team owned by Ryan Walkinshaw’s younger brother, has formed an alliance with Caterham F1.
SWR currently competes in the BRDC F4 Championship, winning five races last year.
The deal between the two parties is being touted as “a long term co-operation… offering young drivers a synergy to a Formula 1 team from a young age”.
The 20-year-old Sean Walkinshaw himself races in Spain’s EuroFormula Open class as he attempts to forge a career as both a driver and team owner.
“I am delighted we have agreed this partnership with the Caterham F1 Team, it’s an amazing opportunity for SWR and our drivers and really does cement the team’s position in junior single-seater racing,” he said.
“The last couple of years have been quite a whirlwind, there was a lot of hard work behind the scenes before we established SWR and in our first season in BRDC Formula 4 we became race winners and championship front-runners.
“The start of single-seater racing is always an important step in a driver’s career and with this partnership we now connect directly with a Formula 1 team – I can’t think of a better situation for drivers to showcase their talent.
“Becoming the Caterham F1 Young Driver Development team is huge for SWR, it’s incredibly prestigious and a real recognition of what we’ve achieved up to now.
“The link with Leafield is something very special too for me personally, it was obviously the HQ for TWR and holds many special memories for the Walkinshaw family.”
The agreement comes amid a restructure of Caterham F1, which is now being led by Dutchman Christijan Albers.
“A junior formula like BRDC F4 is the perfect scenario to start a racing career and we are very happy with this collaboration with Sean Walkinshaw Racing,” said Albers.
“If the talent is there, it should be supported and with the SWR – Caterham F1 Driver Development Program we are assuring this happens, as well as confirming Caterham F1 Team’s interest for young drivers and offering them a development program from the very start of their careers.
“We will be watching the drivers of tomorrow closely.”
Caterham remains silent on its driver line-up for this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix amid reports that Kamui Kobayashi could be replaced by German Andre Lotterer.
A stalwart of Audi’s sportscar program, the 32-year-old Lotterer took his third Le Mans 24 Hours victory in June and also currently competes in Japan’s Super Formula open-wheel championship.