Nikita Mazepin will continue his partnership with Hitech GP in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship into 2017.
The young Russian made his debut in the championship in 2016 in what was just his second year of car racing, and took a best finish of eighth at Spa-Francorchamps and the Hockenheimring and two other top ten finishes as he finished twentieth in the final standings.
Mazepin also had the opportunity to test with the Sahara Force India F1 Team during the year when he ran both days in the post-Silverstone test, but the main aim for the seventeen-year-old Moscow-born Russian is to take outright podiums in 2017.
“I had a good first season in Formula 3,” said Mazepin. “Of course, it was a steep learning curve as it was only my second full season in car racing.
“I managed to show at certain points, particularly Spa, Paul Ricard and Hockenheim, where I had my first rookie podium, that I have the potential to make the step up next year to fight at the front. This is the target.”
Team boss Oliver Oakes admitted that Mazepin showed flashes of his potential during his rookie season, and is hopeful he can build on these performances with a consistent 2017 alongside the recently confirmed Ralf Aron.
“Nikita had a typical rookie season in F3, showing some promise and also finding some tracks more difficult,” said Oakes. “He had some really strong races, particularly Spa and Hockenheim, where he showed he has the ability to be at the front in F3.
“We need to build on that and some consistency next season, if we do then Nikita can be at the sharp end of the field throughout the year.”