Tio Ellinas secures Manor GP3 return plus Marussia F1 test
|By Sam Tremayne||Monday, April 22nd 2013, 16:39 GMT|
Tio Ellinas will retain his Manor GP3 drive and also earn his first Formula 1 experience at the 2013 young driver test, Marussia has confirmed.
Ellinas drove for Manor's GP3 squad, which forms part of Marussia's young driver programme, during 2012.
He claimed a breakthrough victory and a second in the Monza season finale, helping him to finish eighth overall, and as Manor's best-placed driver.
As a result, Marussia will run him during this year's F1 young driver test.
Marussia team principal John Booth lauded the 21-year-old, saying: "Tio has a rare natural ability; certainly up there with the best of the drivers who have graduated through our junior programme.
"The GP3 Series is looking very strong this year, the new car is a big step forward and the grid is full of the best young talent.
"It will be a tough season but we hope our preparations and strong driver line-up will put us in a good position to challenge for the championship."
Ellinas went fastest for Manor on the first day of GP3's most recent Silverstone test.
"I am delighted that I will be returning with Marussia Manor Racing for a second season," he said.
"The new GP3 car is fantastic to drive and I think the racing will be very exciting and highly competitive.
"After a strong end to the season in 2012 and a good winter test programme, I head to the first race at Barcelona full of confidence."
2013 GP3 Series line-up so far: 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 Dino Zamparelli Tio Ellinas tba Status Jimmy Eriksson Josh Webster Adderly Fong Bamboo Carmen Jorda tba tba Trident Emanuele Zonzini David Fumanelli Giovanni Venturini Koiranen Kevin Korjus Aaro Vainio Patrick Kujala