Ferrari Driver Academy member Zhou joins Prema for 2017 F3 season

Chinese Ferrari protege Guan Yu Zhou has joined Prema Powerteam for his second season in the Formula 3 European Championship

Ferrari Driver Academy member Zhou joins Prema for 2017 F3 season

It represents a return to Prema for Zhou, who finished runner-up in the 2015 Italian Formula 4 Championship with the squad, and then moved to Motopark for his rookie F3 season this year.

Zhou took two podium finishes over the opening two race weekends of his F3 campaign, but his form faded thereafter and he fell to 13th in the final points.

Prema has a strong history with the Ferrari Driver Academy in F3, running Raffaele Marciello to the 2013 European title and carrying Antonio Fuoco to race wins in '14.

Team boss Rene Rosin said: "I am delighted to welcome Zhou and the Ferrari Driver Academy back to our F3 team.

"We worked with him in 2015 and we already appreciated his skills as we helped him grow in his first season in single-seaters.

"After getting valuable experience under his belt in 2016, I hope to see him become the first winning Chinese driver in European competition."

Zhou is the second driver confirmed in Prema's F3 team for 2017, joining Briton Callum Ilott in the Italian squad's fleet of Dallara-Mercedes.

German and Italian F4 runner-up Mick Schumacher is thought extremely likely to be part of the squad, while 2016 European F3 runner-up Maximilian Gunther has also been tipped to remain with the team.

Zhou joins fellow FDA prospects Charles Leclerc and Fuoco - who will race in GP2 - under the Prema umbrella for 2017.

New Zealander Marcus Armstrong, who has tested Euro F3 machinery and contested end-of-season races in Formula Renault 2.0 and BRDC British F3, is also linked with a potential FDA role for next year, which could mean a role in Prema's F4 team.

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