A teenager aiming to become the next Lewis Hamilton is trying to secure thousands of pounds in financial backing to take the next step in his racing career.

Ryan Margolis, from Whetstone, Barnet, has spent several years racing at karting level and is hoping to drive in next year’s British Formula 4 championship, which is shown on ITV4.

The 16-year-old has already secured a seat for 2021 following a test at Pembrey, Wales – but to compete he must raise more than £300,000 in sponsorship.

Ryan, who currently attends Loughborough College studying the Motorsport UK Academy Sporting Excellence course for elite drivers, said: “British F4 is the gateway to F1 for some of the very best drivers in the country.

“Getting the funding needed to compete is challenging and requires tremendous support and commitment.

“The UK continually produces a stream of drivers who showcase British talent across the world in all forms of motorsport and I hope I can be one of them.”

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Ryan Margolis tested in Formula 4 in Pembrey, Wales - Photo credit: Oliver Dutton

While most racing drivers start their careers in competitive karting as young as six, Ryan did not start until he was 12.

The teenager had been driving on a karting circuit on holiday in Spain when he realised he wanted to make a career of racing professionally.

And since then, he competed in several karting championships around the country, including at Rye House where Lewis Hamilton honed his skills.

He has also had several tests with Rob Wilson – a Formula 1 driving coach.

Ryan believes the move to Formula 4 will present an “equal playing field”.

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Ryan in a Formula 4 car - Photo credit: Oliver Dutton

He said: “When I was completing my tests in an F4 car I instantly felt comfortable.

“I hope to be given a chance next year to show what I can do on the national and international stage.

“Hopefully one day Barnet will become known as the home of a legendary British F1 talent, just like Stevenage up the road.”