Motorsport runs through his veins as his father used to race karts in Australia and James had his first go in one when he was just two and half years old. His favourite number is 13 and his favourite driver is fellow-countryman Daniel Ricciardo. James is the first winner of the Ferrari Driver Academy’s Scouting World Finals.
Wharton began racing in Australia in 2016 and at the end of the following year, he moved to Europe and finished third in the Mini Max class of the Rotax Max Grand Finals. In 2018, he raced in OK Junior, while he won the KA 100 Junior category of the SKUSA Super National championship in Las Vegas, USA. The next year, still in OK Junior, he finished second in the Winter Cup in Europe, fifth in the WSK Champions Cup and ninth in the WSK Euro Series and in the European CIK-FIA championship. He won the SKUSA Super National X30J class in the States.
In 2020, he came seventh in the WSK Euro Series and in October was selected by FDA partner, Motorsport Australia, to take part in the FDA World Finals. James stood out because of his skills and he won a place in the Academy.
In 2021 he continued to race karts and at the end of the year, began training in a Formula 4 single-seater prior to racing in the category in 2022. For his first season in single-seaters he took part in the UAE and Italian series, as well as a few rounds of the German one with Prema. He won four times and finished fifth in the championship. For 2023, he continues to race in Formula 4 with Prema.