ART Grand Prix picks Sergey Sirotkin for GP2 title defence in 2016

Sergey Sirotkin will move to reigning champion team ART Grand Prix for the 2016 GP2 Series

ART Grand Prix picks Sergey Sirotkin for GP2 title defence in 2016

The 20-year-old Russian finished third in the standings with Rapax as a rookie last season, having moved into GP2 following two years in Formula Renault 3.5.

ART dominated GP2 with McLaren young driver Stoffel Vandoorne in 2015, as the Belgian became the fourth man to win the series title with the team after Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg.

Sometime Sauber Formula 1 team protege Sirotkin said that history of success made ART a big draw.

"They are a winning team wherever they have competed so far, like in GP2 history, with a unbelievable 2015 season," said Sirotkin.

"This is a great opportunity for me, because ART Grand Prix has shown many times that it is the best place for a young driver to be and I intend to make the most of this opportunity."

Team manager Sebastien Philippe said ART had been impressed by how quickly Sirotkin had taken to GP2.

"ART Grand Prix has been following Sergey's career for a few years now and we were very impressed by his debut in such a competitive championship as GP2," he said.

"Sergey is both fast over one lap and strong in the race.

"At just 20 years old, he has an intelligent approach to his craft and his maturity is a plus in a complex and competitive GP2 pack."

Philippe is optimistic Sirotkin, who was a race winner in Auto GP at the age of just 16 after graduating to the category as European Formula Abarth champion in 2012, can pick up where Vandoorne left off.

"After its success in 2015 in both categories, drivers and team, ART Grand Prix now faces the big challenge of remaining the leader in GP2," he added.

"This challenge requires particular drivers with an exceptional profile and Sergey meets this requirement perfectly.

"We are therefore very pleased to have him with us and be able to tackle the 2016 championship season with the highest of ambitions."

ART ran Honda protege Nobuharu Matsushita in its second car last year but is yet to announce Sirotkin's team-mate for 2016.

It becomes the second team to make a 2016 GP2 driver announcement after fellow multiple champion squad DAMS confirmed race winner Alex Lynn and Nicholas Latifi last month.

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