Champion Formula 3 Euro Series team ART Grand Prix have confirmed Esteban Gutierrez as the first of their four drivers for the coming season.
The 17-year-old Mexican won the Formula BMW Europe title in 2008 and will step up to F3 with the team that has won the championship for the last five years.
Gutierrez tested for ART for the first time at Magny-Cours back in November and decided to commit to the French team after more outings before Christmas.
"I feel very happy to have come to an agreement with ART, to compete in this series," he said. "I will put all my effort and dedication to obtain the best possible results with a lot of enthusiasm."
ART boss Frederic Vasseur added: "Esteban had a very strong and successful season in Formula BMW last year and I am pleased to confirm him as ART F3 driver. He did a very good job during our winter test at Magny-Cours and the collaboration with our engineers was perfect.
"The gap between Formula BMW and F3 is important but I am sure that Esteban will be a hard worker, he will improve during the season and will be able to score some wins."
Gutierrez will begin his pre-season programme with ART when the testing ban is lifted for the first official test at Estoril in mid March.