Kanato Le will join Hitech Grand Prix for 2023 as he progresses up to FIA Formula 4 with the British team - competing in both the ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA and the Formula 4 UAE Championship.
Taking the first step on the 'Road to F1', Kanato will make his debut in single-seaters as he joins Hitech Grand Prix for his maiden year in FIA Formula 4. Founded in 2015 and located just a stone's throw from Silverstone Circuit, Hitech Grand Prix Limited is a UK-based racing team competing in a number of championships up the single-seater ladder - from FIA Formula 4 all the way through to FIA Formula 2. Hitech GP is one of the most respected teams outside Formula One, with a proven track record of success dating back to its first inception in the motorsport field.
Kick-starting his F4 career at the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November this year, Kanato's debut will take place at the non-championship UAE F4 Trophy race in front of all of the Formula One paddock. Kanato will then return to the UAE at the start of 2023 for the Formula 4 UAE Championship, which will see Dubai Autodrome and Yas Marina Circuit host two rounds apiece as well as heading beyond the country for the first time with a round at the FIA Grade I, Hermann Tilke-designed Kuwait Motor Town.
Kanato's attention will then switch to the ROKiT British F4 Championship, the premier UK single-seater series, with ambitions to follow in the footsteps of former drivers Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri, and Logan Sargeant to try to reach the pinnacle of the sport – Formula 1. The championship is part of the TOCA package which sees the series shown live and free-to-air to millions of UK households on ITV and ITV4.
The 15-year-old Japanese racer made his debut in circuit racing in 2022, competing in the Ginetta Junior Championship with Elite Motorsport. Finishing the campaign 7th in the Drivers' Championship, Kanato also secured second in the Rookie Cup after a successful season which saw the youngster collect two victories, five podiums finishes - as well as three rookie wins and 13 rookie podiums.
Kanato also boasts a decorated karting career, in which he claimed the 2021 IAME Euro Series X30 Junior champion, as well as Vice-Champion status in the IAME Winter Cup, and secured a raft of wins and podiums through his karting years. Leaving his childhood home in Japan, Kanato moved to the UK alone at the age of 12 to pursue his racing ambitions and 2023 will mark the next step on his journey.
Excited about his FIA Formula 4 campaigns, Kanato is thrilled to be joining the world-renowned Hitech Grand Prix team.
“I am extremely happy to be racing with Hitech GP in 2023, both in British and UAE FIA F4. Hitech has an incredible history in motorsport and has been proven winners in every category from F4 up to F2, so to be joining the team and utilising their expertise and experience is fantastic for my career.
We had testing at Snetterton in the official New Driver Test which puts us in a good position with the preparations for next year. A huge thank you to Mark (Blundell), and all the team at MB Partners, and of course Elliot Harvey, for their support in bringing this together. Also, a huge thanks to Oliver Oakes and the Hitech GP team for welcoming me into the ranks - roll on 2023!"
Oliver Oakes, Hitech Grand Prix's Director, is looking forward to working with Kanato as he steps up to F4.
"We are excited to welcome Kanato to Hitech. He has had an impressive rookie season in Ginetta this year and we look forward to helping him step up to in F4. He will have lots to learn as he embarks on his first season in single-seaters, and we look forward to supporting him through that transition and building on the already evident promise he has shown."
MB Partners CEO and Founder, Mark Blundell, is confident that Kanato's talents will see him transition seamlessly into F4.
"This news is fantastic for Kanato and we are all extremely excited to see him taking on his first season in single-seaters. Moving from Ginetta to F4 will be a unique challenge for Kanato but he's a proven winner in everything he has driven so we are fully confident he will adapt quickly and be battling at the front of the pack. Hitech GP is a fantastic team and is respected globally, so we know Kanato is in safe hands with them!"
2022 UAE F4 Trophy Race
Yas Marina Circuit, UAE - 18-20 November
2023 ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA
Donington Park (National) - 22-23 April
Brands Hatch (Indy) - 6-7 May
Snetterton (300) - 20-21 May
Thruxton - 3-4 June
Oulton Park (Island) - 17-18 June
Silverstone (Grand Prix) - 23-25 June
Croft - 29-30 July
Knockhill - 12-13 August
Donington Park (Grand Prix) - 26-27 August
Brands Hatch (Grand Prix) - 7-8 October
2023 Formula 4 UAE Championship
Dubai Autodrome, UAE - 13-14 January
Yas Marina Circuit, UAE - 21-22 January
Kuwait Motor Town, Kuwait - 2-3 February
Dubai Autodrome, UAE - 11-12 February
Yas Marina Circuit, UAE - 18-19 February