Dino Zamparelli’s debut season in the GP3 Series has been made possible after he secured investment from his home city of Bristol.
The Anglo-Italian driver has received backing from Bristol Sport Limited, a company that runs Bristol City football club and Bristol Rugby and is led by local businessman Stephen Lansdown, owner of the two sports teams. They are aiming to make him the city’s first Formula One driver.
The partnership has enabled Zamparelli to sign with the Marussia Manor Racing team to do GP3 this year, as part of the Marussia F1 Team’s young driver programme. After a promising showing in his first GP3 test at Estoril last week, the 20-year-old is in Barcelona this weekend as a guest of the team at F1 testing.
Ginetta Junior champion in 2008 and Formula Renault BARC champion in 2011, Zamparelli claimed two podiums in the FIA Formula Two Championship in 2012 while working hard to secure the necessary budget before each race weekend.
“This is a hugely exciting time for me and a massive opportunity to accelerate my career progression,” he said. “It’s always been my ambition to make it to Formula One, but I’ve always been fighting the tide due to lack of funding.
“Now, with BSL’s input, I can focus on my driving and my personal development. I’m a proud Bristolian, so to be working alongside a forward-thinking brand with strong roots in the city is a dream come true.
“This has given me a huge boost, but I’m fully aware that the hard work starts now. I want to represent BSL and the city of Bristol on the international stage – and to ultimately make the people of Bristol proud.”
BSL chairman Martin Griffiths added: “We immediately recognized Dino’s incredible potential. He’s a fiercely competitive character who represents the qualities that BSL stand for: ambition, drive and a clear vision to succeed.
“Dino has overcome a number of obstacles in his short career already. This new relationship is a testament to our commitment to promoting and supporting sporting excellence in Bristol.”