Fortec promotes Pietro Fittipaldi to Formula V8 3.5 for 2016

Pietro Fittipaldi will complete defending champion team Fortec Motorsports' driver line-up in Formula V8 3.5

Fortec promotes Pietro Fittipaldi to Formula V8 3.5 for 2016

Brazilian-American Fittipaldi, grandson of two-time Formula 1 world champion Emerson, graduates to the series after competing for Fortec in last year's European Formula 3 championship.

The Daventry-based squad, which carried Oliver Rowland to the 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 championship and also secured the teams' title, announced Formula Renault 2.0 NEC champion Louis Deletraz as its first FV8 3.5 driver in December.

"Our relationship with Pietro got stronger and stronger over last season," managing director Jamie Dye told Autosport.

"It is very difficult for anyone to go into Formula 3, which I think you can appreciate was very competitive last year, after just a year in Renault BARC.

"We made some developments and improvements on the F3 car through the year, and Pietro also grew.

"He has been doing a lot of training, he made a good test in FR3.5 with DAMS in 2014, and had another good outing with Carlin at the end of last year."

Dye is confident Fortec's pair of newcomers can match returnees such as Matthieu Vaxiviere at Spirit of Race and AVF driver Tom Dillmann.

"We are not afraid of running two rookies," he said.

"Of course, we know Matthieu Vaxiviere and Tom Dillmann are quite handy.

"But whether it is winning the title with Robin Frijns, or finishing second with Stoffel Vandoorne, rookies have performed with us.

"Rowland won the title well in his second year. We are hoping to bring these drivers forward, and perhaps go for the title in 2017."

Fortec's deal with Fittipaldi was believed to have been holding up several moves in the FV8 3.5 driver market, and its completion triggered a number of driver announcements earlier this week.

Fittipaldi, who is the MRF series leader heading into this weekend's final round at Chennai, has his first scheduled V8 3.5 test with Fortec in 2016 at Barcelona on March 29-30.

CONFIRMED FORMULA V8 3.5 DRIVERS SO FAR

Arden Motorsport: Egor Orudzhev
AVF: Alfonso Celis Jr, Tom Dillmann
Fortec Motorsports: Louis Deletraz, Pietro Fittipaldi
Pons Racing: Beitske Visser, Alex Bosak
Spirit of Race: Vladimir Atoev, Matthieu Vaxiviere
Teo Martin Motorsport: Yu Kanamaru

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Beitske Visser joins Pons as one of three additions to F3.5 V8 grid

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