Nick Yelloly returns to GP3 with Carlin
|By Matt Beer||Monday, February 18th 2013, 11:37 GMT|
Nick Yelloly will return to GP3 this season with Carlin after a year in Formula Renault 3.5.
The 22-year-old Briton was a podium finisher with Atech CRS during 2011, but stepped up to FR3.5 for the final rounds and then stayed on for '12, finishing fifth in the championship.
Yelloly said the arrival of the new generation GP3 car meant his return from FR3.5 could not be seen as a backwards step.
"The upgrades to the car have transformed where GP3 is in the motorsport ladder," he said.
"With so much more power and the combination of the Pirelli tyres and the F1 circuits, GP3 is a great package for me to be part of right now."
Team boss Trevor Carlin is certain Yelloly will be a frontrunner.
"He was one of the stand-out drivers of FR3.5 last year and his experience of a more powerful car will certainly be a big advantage with the new GP3 car," Carlin said.
"He really does make the most of every opportunity and he'll be a big asset to our team. With his experience at this level of racing I'm expecting him to be fighting at the front from the start of the season."
Yelloly joins Luis Sa Silva and Eric Lichtenstein in Carlin's GP3 squad.
News editor Glenn Freeman
Going back to GP3 after a race winning campaign in Formula Renault 3.5 is a risk for Nick Yelloly.
But, crucially, that risk is reduced by the performance step of the new GP3 car. And the rewards that could come with winning a championship on the Formula 1 support bill make it one worth taking.
Yelloly's first year of GP3 in 2011 was very hard to judge, as his Atech CRS car was hardly one of the best on the grid. But - as was the case in FR3.5 last year – whenever the heavens opened he was able to make up for his car deficit.
The Briton said last year that he struggled to get his head around the peculiar, turbo-powered GP3 car, which has been replaced for 2013 with a normally-aspirated (and more powerful) engine and improved aerodynamics.
Having taken so well to the FR3.5 car in a handful of starts at the end of 2011, and then winning the first race of the 2012 season, he said he felt more at home in faster cars. So he should return to GP3 as a different prospect to the driver who made little impression on the series two years ago.
His experience means he will be Carlin's lead driver, so a title tilt is realistic. For his single seater career, it is a must.
2013 GP3 Series line-up so far: Lotus (ART) Jack Harvey Facu Regalia tba MW Arden Daniil Kvyat Carlos Sainz Jr Robert Visoiu Carlin Eric Lichtenstein Luis Sa Silva Nick Yelloly Jenzer Patric Niederhauser Alex Fontana Samin Gomez Manor tba tba tba Status Jimmy Eriksson tba tba Bamboo tba tba tba Trident Emanuele Zonzini David Fumanelli tba Koiranen Kevin Korjus Aaro Vainio Patrick Kujala