Italian F4 champion Ralf Aron gets 2016 Prema European F3 seat

Italian Formula 4 champion Ralf Aron will step up to the Formula 3 European Championship with Prema Powerteam in 2016

Italian F4 champion Ralf Aron gets 2016 Prema European F3 seat

The 17-year-old Estonian, who is mentored by 2007 British F3 champion and current GT racer Marko Asmer, joins Canadian Williams Formula 1 team protege Lance Stroll in Prema's confirmed line-up.

Like Stroll in 2014, Aron took his F4 title success with the Italian squad. He then proved a revelation on his first F3 run-out at Vallelunga.

He has been testing regularly with Prema's F3 team since the racing season ended, and is currently involved in a two-day session at Jerez.

Prema boss Rene Rosin said: "Continuing our relationship with Aron seemed like a logical choice for us.

"After the extremely successful year we experienced together in F4, running really well in both the Italian and the German series [in which he contested a handful of rounds], I was really curious to see him behind the wheel of our F3 machinery.

"He impressed us straight away and even provided insight like a seasoned veteran - it felt just right to welcome him to our F3 operation and line up together for a new challenge in 2016."

While Rosin is remaining tight-lipped on the identity of the other two drivers for his four-car squad of Mercedes-powered Dallaras, Japanese F3 champion Nick Cassidy and 2015 Norisring winner Maximilian Gunther, both of whom made late-season race cameos with Prema, are also in the testing line-up this week at Jerez.

PALMER JOINS CARLIN TEST LINE-UP

Meanwhile, McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner Will Palmer has joined Carlin's F3 testing line-up at Valencia.

Palmer, the reigning BRDC Formula 4 champion, is running alongside Raoul Hyman, Alessio Lorandi, Ryan Tveter and Tanart Sathienthirakul as he gauges options for 2016.

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