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Ferrari protege Raffaele Marciello keeps Prema European F3 drive

Raffaele MarcielloRaffaele Marciello will, as expected, remain with Prema Powerteam for this year's European Formula 3 championship.

The 18-year-old Italian finished second in last year's points and third in the Euro Series, which ran largely concurrently.

The Ferrari Academy driver won eight races in total, and dominated the Pau Grand Prix despite having never raced at the French street track previously.

"For a young driver such as myself it is very important to be able to work with continuity with a team, and this has even more value if it is a winning team like Prema," said Marciello.

"Together with FDA we believe that this was an excellent opportunity for my professional development and I would like to thank [team principal] Angelo Rosin for his trust in me.

"I will do my best to repay him with my efforts and dedication but mostly with the successes that a team such as Prema deserves."

Rosin's squad, which ran Daniel Juncadella to both the European championship and Euro Series titles last year, has already signed British driver Alex Lynn and Austrian Lucas Auer for the season.

AUTOSPORT understands that its fourth and final driver will be announced later this week.

Rosin said: "We could not net such a talent go, so we did everything in our power to keep him.

"Relying on Raffaele was the logical choice and together with the Ferrari Driver Academy we agreed to continue fielding him. Our goal is to retain our number one."

2013 European F3 Championship line-up so far:

Team               Car             Drivers
Prema Powerteam    Dallara-Merc    Alex Lynn/Lucas Auer/Raffaele Marciello
Mucke              Dallara-Merc    Mitchell Gilbert
Carlin             Dallara-VW      TBA/TBA
Ma-con Motorsport  Dallara-VW      TBA/TBA
URD Rennsport      Dallara-Merc    TBA
Jo Zeller Racing   Dallara-Merc    TBA/TBA
Fortec Motorsport  Dallara-Merc    Felix Serralles/Pipo Derani/TBA/TBA
Van Amersfoort     Dallara-VW      TBA/TBA/TBA
EuroInternational  Dallara-VW      Tom Blomqvist/TBA
T-Sport            Dallara-Nissan  TBA/TBA
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