Force India protege Nikita Mazepin to GP3 with ART in 2018

Force India Formula 1 development driver Nikita Mazepin will race for ART Grand Prix in GP3 next season after switching from the Formula 3 European championship

Force India protege Nikita Mazepin to GP3 with ART in 2018

Mazepin, who finished 10th in the 2017 Euro F3 season, is the second driver confirmed at ART for '18 after Ferrari junior Callum Ilott's signing with the French squad was announced earlier in December.

The 18-year-old competed in Euro F3 for the last two seasons and took part the recent end-of-year GP3 test at the Yas Marina circuit for ART, finishing with the fourth best time across the three days.

"I am really happy to make the step up to GP3 with ART for 2018," said Mazepin.

"I have enjoyed my last 2 seasons in Formula 3 where I have improved a lot as a driver and the second part of this year was very positive.

"The recent GP3 test with ART in Abu Dhabi went really well and I immediately felt comfortable and trusted in the ART team.

"I am really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together in 2018."

In addition to his Euro F3 experience, Mazepin has competed in the MRF Challenge and Formula Renault Eurocup and NEC series, and was a race winner during the weekend he drove for Carlin in BRDC British Formula 3 last season.

"Giving Nikita a steering wheel in the GP3 Series is the logical continuation of our partnership, which started on an excellent basis in Abu Dhabi," said ART Grand Prix president Sebastien Philippe.

"In addition, ART Grand Prix has had a good relationship with Hitech for several years, and this collaboration with Nikita is the culmination of the work they carried out together.

"Nikita has given us a glimpse of his personal nature and his qualities as a racing driver and I am sure he can be an integral part in our fight for an 8th team title."

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