Home Featured Alpine-backed Olli Caldwell moves from F2 to marque’s WEC line-up

Alpine-backed Olli Caldwell moves from F2 to marque’s WEC line-up

by Ida Wood

Olli Caldwell will move from Formula 2 to the World Endurance Championship this year, driving for Alpine in the LMP2 prototype sportscar class.

The 20-year-old Briton joined the Alpine Academy – the marque’s Formula 1 junior team – for 2022 as he stepped up to F2 with Campos Racing. He came 21st in the standings in his rookie seaon, scoring twice but getting a race ban.

In WEC he will share an Alpine A470 (which is a rebranded Oreca 07) with the marque’s two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Andre Negrao and four-time Grand-Am champion Memo Rojas, a new signing.

“I am really excited to be joining Alpine Elf Endurance Team for the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship,” said Caldwell.

“This is a big change of direction for my career, but I’m looking forward to taking on a new challenge, alongside the familiarity of being part of the Alpine programme and continuing to develop my relationship with the global Alpine brand.

“I can’t wait to get out on track for the first race in Sebring, plus racing on new tracks such as Fuji and Le Mans is going to be a real highlight for me. I’d like to thank everyone at Alpine for this opportunity, I’m sure together with my new team-mates we can push to achieve some great results.”

It was decided at the start of this year that Caldwell would switch to sportscars full-time, having racing intermittently in closed-wheel cars in the past. His car racing debut back in 2016 was in Ginetta Junior, he won the Gulf 12H’s GT4 class in 2018, did practice for the 2020 Bathurst 12H before his team-mate wrecked their GT3 car in qualifying and they had to miss the race, then made his WEC and LMP2 debut in the 2021 Bahrain 8H.

Caldwell’s single-seater career included singular wins in FIA Formula 3, Formula Regional Europe and ADAC Formula 4, and three wins apiece in Italian F4 and F4 United Arab Emirates. His WEC move marks a graduation from the Alpine Academy.

Meanwhile new Red Bull junior Sebastian Montoya is headed to the European Le Mans Series’ LMP2 class with DragonSpeed. The 17-year-old will be driving in the same car as his father Juan Pablo and Henrik Hedman.

The trio contested the IMSA Endurance Cup together last year. Montoya’s primary programme then was FREC, and for 2023 his focus is his rookie FIA F3 season with Hitech GP.