Charles Leclerc joins ART Grand Prix for 2016 GP3 Series

Charles Leclerc will move from the Formula 3 European Championship to complete champion team ART Grand Prix's expanded four-car GP3 Series line-up

Charles Leclerc joins ART Grand Prix for 2016 GP3 Series

The 18-year-old from Monaco joins McLaren junior Nyck de Vries, fellow F3 convert Alexander Albon and Honda protege Nirei Fukuzumi in the ART fold.

The outfit took a clean sweep of GP2 and GP3 titles with Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Ocon in 2015, which team manager Sebastien Philippe said increased pressure to choose a strong '16 driver line-up.

"ART Grand Prix is facing one of the biggest challenges in the company's history: keeping the titles we won last season in both GP2 and GP3 in the team and driver categories," he said.

"In GP3, Charles ideally complements our driver line-up.

"He is a natural, his pure speed and racing intelligence are rare qualities in a driver of his age.

"We are very confident that Charles will flourish in ART Grand Prix and will quickly join in the fight for victories with the frontrunners."

Leclerc was the leading rookie in European F3 last year, winning four races for Van Amersfoort and finishing fourth in the standings. He was also runner-up in the Macau Grand Prix at the first attempt.

He tested GP3 cars with both ART and Arden in late 2015 before making his choice.

"GP3 is a very competitive series and I am onboard with the best team since the championship started," Leclerc said.

"The tests late last year in Abu Dhabi went very well and I felt very comfortable in the team right from the start.

"My objective is clearly to fight for the title."

CONFIRMED GP3 DRIVERS SO FAR

ART Grand Prix: Nirei Fukuzumi, Nyck de Vries, Alexander Albon, Charles Leclerc
Arden International: Jake Dennis, Jack Aitken, Tatiana Calderon
Koiranen GP: Matthew Parry, Matevos Isaakyan
Jenzer Motorsport: Akash Nandy
Campos Racing: Alex Palou, Constantin Tereshchenko, Steijn Schothurst
DAMS: Santino Ferrucci, Jake Hughes, Kevin Jorg
Trident: Antonio Fuoco, Artur Janosz, Giuliano Alesi, Sandy Stuvik

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ART Grand Prix adds Alexander Albon to its 2016 GP3 Series line-up
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