ART Grand Prix have finalised their 2017 GP2 Series line-up with the confirmation that Thai driver Alexander Albon will join Nobuharu Matsushita after stepping up from racing for the team in the GP3 Series in 2016.
The twenty-year-old has already been a part of both the Red Bull and Lotus F1 young driver programmes, and fought Charles Leclerc hard for the GP3 title last season, only to fall short in the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
“I am really excited to be working with ART Grand Prix for a second year!” insisted Albon. “I learnt a huge amount last year and we have become one big close family.
“Moving up to the GP2 series is an important step in anyone’s career and I am extremely fortunate to be with a top team who already understand me. There’s a lot to learn coming from GP3, and the experience and method of working at ART Grand Prix is the reason they have won so many titles.
“I hope I will continue to proudly wear Thailand’s colours and those of my faithful Thai partners. I look forward to the new challenge and cannot wait for the season to begin!”
ART’s Sebastien Philippe is delighted that the driver that took four race wins and fought tooth and nail with Leclerc for the GP3 title last season steps up to their GP2 squad, and believes he could be a frontrunner right from the start of the season.
“In GP3 in 2016, Alex exceeded all of ART Grand Prix’ expectations by integrating himself instantly into the company and fighting for pole position and victories from the first race weekend of the season,” said Philippe.
“He didn’t need a period of adaptation to become one of the best drivers in the category and he didn’t stop progressing throughout the year. He missed the title by very little and it was through no fault of his own, either sporting or personal why he didn’t clinch it.
“Alex soon had all the makings of a GP2 driver at ART Grand Prix and we are delighted to continue our collaboration for another year. It is necessary to follow the course from GP3 to GP2 and ART Grand Prix will be alongside Alex every step of the way to give him all the technical help so that he can fight at the front.”