It’s all change this year in the GP3 series, with the top three from 2013, Daniil Kvyat, Facu Regalia and Conor Daly amongst a number of drivers departing to race elsewhere. In fact 2014 will see no fewer than eleven drivers making their debuts in the series. Lets take a closer look at those debutants and where they plied their trade in 2013.
Emil Bernstorff – Great Britain – Carlin
The Anglo-Dane has joined the Carlin after a year racing in the German Formula 3 championship where he won five races on route to third in the championship. A strong pre-season has given him hope, and should be a regular challenger for points, podiums and possibly wins.
Victor Carbone – Brazil – Trident Racing
The Brazilian arrives to race in Europe for the first time in his career, having raced previously in his homeland and in Indy Lights in America. Joins Trident, and will be hoping to improve as the season goes on to get points for the team that have struggled in recent years.
Alfonso Celis Jr – Mexico – Status Grand Prix
The seventeen-year-old Mexican did not expect to be racing at all in 2014 due to his budget or lack of it, so was surprised to get a call from Status first to test and then to race alongside the more experienced Nick Yelloly and Richie Stanaway. Will be lucky to score points, but he will learn a lot this year to take into his future.
Roman de Beer – South Africa – Trident Racing
The South African sat out 2013 completely as his budget was not in place and arrives in GP3 a year later than planned. His last races were in 2012 in the Italian Formula 3 championship, so he will be a little bit race-rusty when the season begins. Was the quickest Trident tester during testing, but like his team-mates, will be more hopeful to score points than take wins during the season.
Marvin Kirchhofer – Germany – ART Grand Prix
A German arrives in GP3 with an impeccable record in motorsport, having won the ADAC Formel Masters in 2012 and the German Formula 3 crown in 2013. Joins four-time GP3 Series Teams’ champions ART Grand Prix and should be one to keep an eye out for as the season goes on against his more experienced team-mates Alex Fontana and Dino Zamparelli.
Alex Lynn – Great Britain – Carlin
The young Briton arrives from the FIA European Formula 3 series where he finished third in the championship for Prema Powerteam, as well as winning the legendary Macau GP. Has been quick all through the pre-season tests for Carlin, so should considered a possible front-runner from the offset.
Jann Mardenborough – Great Britain – Arden International
The Brit has taken an unusual route to GP3, which will only be his second season of single-seater racing having debuted last year in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship. Originally was a GT racer for Nissan having won a gaming competition but showed well behind the wheel to be given the single-seater chance. Might struggle to start, but could surprise as the season goes on.
Denis Nagulin – Russia – Trident Racing
The twenty-one-year-old Russian arrives in GP3 from the European F3 Open Championship where he finished a lowly nineteenth in 2013. Has not proven himself behind the wheel to date, and the deal with Trident has come really late. Might be one of the drivers just there to fill up the grid unfortunately.
Ivan Taranov – Russia – Hilmer Motorsport
Taranov is another Russian that is joining the series in 2014, and raced in the UK during 2013 in the Protyre Formula Renault Championship, winning twice on route to 12th in the championship. Joins series newcomers Hilmer Motorsport and will be hoping to grab a few points as the season progresses.
Matheo Tuscher – Switzerland – Jenzer Motorsport
The young Swiss sensation returns to competition in 2014 after missing out on a drive in 2013 despite finishing second in the 2012 Formula 2 championship aged just seventeen years of age. If he can shake off the rustiness, Tuscher might just be a surprise act of the year, and quite possibly an outside bet at the championship. His more experienced team-mates Pal Varhaug and Adderly Fong might not know what hits them if Tuscher runs into form.
Santiago Urrutia – Uruguay – Koiranen GP
The seventeen-year-old from Miguelete in Uruguay arrives in GP3 having competed strongly last year in the European F3 Open, where he won twice and finished fourth in the championship for RP Motorsport. Joins Koiranen GP who took Aaro Vainio to race wins in 2013, and will be hoping to be mixing it with the front runners, perhaps not from the start but as the season progresses.