Three New GP2 Pilots Confirmed for 2017
As the GP2 season prepares to end for 2016 with post-season testing in Abu Dhabi, three drivers have already been confirmed ahead of the next season of the series.
A significant amount of change is expected going into the new season as veteran drivers such as Alex Lynn, Mitch Evans and Daniel de Jong all appearing to be leaving the series, leaving space for a new generation to enter.
CAMARA JOINS MP MOTORSPORT
Just as one Red Bull-backed driver Pierre Gasly leaves the series as champion, another steps into the void left to represent their junior team.
Sergio Sette Camara will race for MP Motorsport in 2017 season, the team confirmed after the season ended with the final sprint race in Abu Dhabi.
The team already had one space to fill for 2017 as Daniel de Jong previously hinted that he was one of the drivers leaving the series after 2016.
Camara has spent the last two seasons racing in European Formula Three for Motopark, claiming four podiums. He also twice finished third in the prestigious Macau Grand Prix for Motopark and Carlin.
“Sergio is an outstanding young talent, he delivered some great performances in Formula Three this year and his recent podium at the Macau Grand Prix, on one of the world’s most challenging street circuits, was sensational,” Sander Dorsman, MP’s team principal, said.
“He’s undoubtedly one of the hottest prospects coming into GP2 next year, incredibly quick, and everyone at MP Motorsport is very pleased to be working with him.”
He will have his first experience piloting the MP car during post-season testing for the 2017 season between November 30 and December 2, and Dorsman believes that will help driver and team.
“To have the deal completed so early, ahead of the post-season test next week, is perfect for all of us and gives everyone the best possible chance to prepare as strongly as we can for Sergio’s GP2 race debut in 2017.”
PREMA’S ALL-NEW LINE-UP
Meanwhile, Prema Racing have announced the successors to 2016 championship challengers Pierre Gasly and Antonio Giovinazzi.
GP3 champion Charles Leclerc and third-placed Antonio Fuoco, both Ferrari academy drivers, are making the step up to the series for the coming season.
Leclerc has raced in just one season in GP3 racing with ART Grand Prix, winning the title by 25 points. Fuoco was an outsider for the title but lost out in Abu Dhabi, finishing third with 157 points. The Italian spent two seasons in GP2, racing with Carlin before having a championship battle running for Trident.
“I can’t wait to start preparations for this new and exciting challenge,” Leclerc said.
“After having completed my GP3 experience in the best possible way, I will continue to give my 100 percent to keep bringing home positive results. I am sure that the support of the reigning champion team, which also finished 1-2 in the 2016 driver standings will prove crucial.”
Fuoco is also pleased to have the opportunity to continue his development.
“Entering the GP2 Series in 2017 will be particularly exciting and doing it with an Italian team which is also the reigning champion will provide some additional motivations for me to do well,” he said.
“I already raced with Prema in the past and I am aware of the high performance level of their cars, as confirmed by the outstanding results they got this season.
“I think that combining the potential of both the team and the Ferrari Driver Academy, we will definitely get some great satisfactions and continue in our personal and professional growth.”
Some drivers have started to confirm their testing duties ahead of the post-season test.
European Formula Three racer Callum Ilott has confirmed that he will test with ART, while Trident’s 2016 driver Luca Ghiotto will pilot cars from both Rapax and Arden International. Carlin’s 2016 Indy Lights racer Felix Serralles will be with their GP2 staff.
Many drivers can be expected to appear during these three days.
EMAIL CAMERON AT email@example.com
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.