Ben Barnicoat has been confirmed to race with the Hitech Grand Prix team in the 2016 season of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship.
The nineteen-year-old Racing Steps Foundation-backed Briton has completed the three-car line-up for the team’s debut season in the championship, joining fellow Briton George Russell and Russian Nikita Mazepin.
Barnicoat had initially agreed to race for Prema Powerteam before the deal collapsed, leaving the teenager to search elsewhere, and after tests with both Hitech and his Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Series team Fortec Motorsports, he agreed to join Hitech GP.
“I can’t wait to start testing in earnest,” said Barnicoat. “It’s been a bit of a wait while contractual matters have been sorted but I couldn’t be happier. Hitech is a top team, which has everything in place to succeed.
“Obviously, I’ll be on a steep learning curve and up against a really strong and experienced team-mate in George Russell, but my gut feeling is I’m in exactly the right place to serve my F3 apprenticeship.”
Hitech GP Team Owner Oliver Oakes admitted his delight at being able to sign one of the hottest properties in junior single seaters, with his three race wins at the back end of the 2015 Eurocup season singling him out as one to watch.
“We are extremely happy to confirm Ben as part of our FIA Formula 3 line-up,” said Oakes. “We evaluated several drivers for the seat during the end of last year and Ben impressed us immediately in Jerez.
“He was straight on the pace of the experienced drivers and his technical feedback was impressive for a driver new to F3. While he may be a rookie, his pedigree from karting and his results in Formula Renault the past two years show what we can expect from him over the course of the season.”