Deletraz Confirms Full-Time 2017 GP2 Ride
Racing Engineering will spend the winter comfortably knowing their plans for 2017 after confirming that Formula V8 3.5 Series’ 2016 runner-up Louis Deletraz will race in the next GP2 season.
The Renault Sport Academy driver will partner Gustav Malja at the team after being with the team and his new teammate in post-season testing in Abu Dhabi.
It will be his first full season in GP2 after taking part in the final round of the 2016 season in Abu Dhabi for Carlin, failing to finish the feature race before claiming a finish of 17th in the sprint race.
This was followed by three days of testing, finishing in 11th, sixth and 14th at the end of the afternoon sessions at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Deletraz says racing in GP2 is the best place to be to continue learning before his target of reaching Formula One.
“GP2 is where I want to be in 2017 since after the strong season in Formula V8, it’s the natural next step in my career,” Deletraz said.
“It’s the final category before reaching Formula One and getting to F1 is my primary goal. Racing Engineering are a good team and have produced some top results during the last five years.”
Deletraz believes a driver needs a good team to help them with the difficult parts of the series, and that he will have that with Racing Engineering.
“For me, there’s no better option and I am very happy with the choice. As a rookie, I’ll have much to learn during the next season. We all know that the most difficult point in GP2 is learning the Pirelli tires, so it’s very important to have a good team behind you so they can help you as a driver and work well together.”
Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon, the team’s president, is delighted to be able to welcome Louis to the team and is excited about possible success.
“We first evaluated Louis on our simulator in 2015 and were in close contact with him during the 2016 season to have insight with his progress as a racing driver.
“Having tested him in Abu Dhabi during the post-season testing earlier this month, it has allowed us to see how much he was able to learn and mature during the last year, which is very promising keeping in mind that he is only 19-years-old.”
He hopes that Deletraz can become the latest driver from Switzerland to bring success to the team.
“The Swiss drivers that we worked with in the past, like Sebastien Buemi [current Formula E champion], Neel Jani [current World Endurance Champion] and our 2013 GP2 champion Fabio Leimer have all achieved great success. We hope to prolong this connection with Louis.”
Jani took two wins for the team in the first season of the series in 2005, while Buemi raced twice in Spanish Formula Three for the team in the same year.
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