Since the inaugural GP3 Series back in 2010 ART Grand Prix have been a force to be reckoned with, claiming the Teams’ Championship five times out of six attempts and producing three title winners – Esteban Gutierrez, Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon – and after the opening two rounds are looking poised to stamp their authority over the championship once again.
ART’s Charles Leclerc is currently sitting at the top of the championship standings by just two points from team-mate Alexander Albon, having taken two wins apiece, while the efforts of Nyck de Vries and Nirei Fukuzumi means that the French team has an advantage of 145 points over their closest rivals.
Leclerc, who because of his experience in both this seasons’ Ferrari and Haas cars means that he has gained insight as to what it is like inside an F1 team – and he feels ART works in much the same way.
“I understood it straight away, as soon as I worked with them,” Leclerc told Motorsport.com. “They’re a very serious team. By GP3 standards, what they do is really impressive.
“Sometimes, it really feels like being in an F1 team, with many fewer people obviously, but they’re very serious. The debriefs are very serious.
“They’re very experienced too, and all of this means they’re dominant at the moment.
“I expected it to be honest, the way they work has impressed me since the start of the season, and that’s what I think makes a big difference and why I went to them this year.”
The Monegasque driver continued on to state that he felt the quality and strength in the driving ability that has aided in ART’s strong showing thus far: “The thing that helps is that my three team-mates are really good drivers, and we just keep improving.
“I look at the data and maybe Alex is faster in one corner, Nyck will be faster in another, so it’s good for us as we can find the right set-up really quickly.
“If you put not a good driver in a good car, you won’t have good results.”