Esteban Ocon completes move into GP3 with ART

Formula 3 European champion Esteban Ocon will move across to the GP3 Series with multiple champion team ART for 2015

Esteban Ocon completes move into GP3 with ART

The 18-year-old Frenchman, who won European F3 at the first attempt last year, joins GP3 returnees Marvin Kirchhofer and Alfonso Celis Jr in ART's line-up.

"I am very pleased to contest GP3 with ART Grand Prix because it's the project that I wanted to happen the most," he said.

"After a great season in 2014 and given the experience and the team's track record, my ambition is to repeat this in 2015 and win the title.

"There are a few question marks because I have not yet tried out the car, but ART Grand Prix has all the skills, data and talent to allow me to have such high ambitions."

AUTOSPORT understands that as long ago as last September a plan was in place for Ocon to graduate to GP2 with DAMS and to act as reserve driver for the Lotus Formula 1 team, which has shared ownership with the Gravity management stable that has masterminded his career since karting.

He took part in F1 free practice at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with Lotus and then completed the post-season GP2 test at the same venue with DAMS.

But unexpected developments forced a different approach. Gravity could have placed him in GP2, but there were no seats available with frontrunning teams.

Sources indicate that the ART move is viewed as a stepping stone on a path that could lead to an F1 role.

"We should not minimise the magnitude of the task at hand because Esteban is only just starting in GP3 and will have to adapt to the requirements of the discipline in the first race," team manager Sebastien Philippe said.

"But we trust in his talent and potential to achieve this and to join in the fight for the title."

2015 GP3 LINE-UP SO FAR

Carlin
Antonio Fuoco, Mitchell Gilbert, tba

ART Grand Prix
Alfonso Celis Jr, Marvin Kirchhofer, Esteban Ocon

Status Grand Prix
Alex Fontana, Seb Morris, Sandy Stuvik

Koiranen GP
Jimmy Eriksson, Adderly Fong, Matt Parry

Arden International
Aleksander Bosak, Kevin Ceccon, tba

Jenzer Motorsport
Matheo Tuscher, Ralph Boschung, tba

Trident
Luca Ghiotto, Artur Janosz, tba

Campos Racing
Alex Palou, Zaid Ashkanani, tba

One further team still tba

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