Nyck de Vries has been announced as the second driver for Prema Racing’s 2018 line-up for the FIA Formula 2 Championship, joining the already confirmed Sean Gelael.
The Dutchman, part of the McLaren F1 Team’s Junior programme, will switch from Racing Engineering where he ended his maiden campaign in 2017, having made a mid-season switch from Rapax, with whom he took his maiden victory in Monaco in May.
“First of all, I want to thank everyone involved for this opportunity,” said de Vries. “I am delighted to join such a successful team as Prema and I thank them for putting their faith in me.
“We have known each other for a while, so to finally be racing together is very exciting and I can’t wait to go back to Italy. We’re very much looking forward to the new challenges that the FIA Formula 2 has introduced with the new car for 2018.
“It will be a very competitive championship, may the best win!”
Team Principal Rene Rosin is delighted to have signed the Dutchman to the team for next season, and he hopes de Vries is able to bring the team their third consecutive Drivers’ title after previous wins for Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
“We are delighted to have secured the services of Nyck for the 2018 Formula 2 season,” said Rosin. “His skills are outstanding and we hope that, together with Prema, he will be able to make the most out of his talent and fight for the title, while helping us to get a head start for the new season.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing our great and well-sorted pairing on-track.”
McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier insists de Vries is still a valued member of their Young Driver programme, despite the rise of Lando Norris, who will be an on-track rival to the Dutchman in 2018 having been confirmed to be racing for Carlin.
“Nyck is a valued and popular member of McLaren’s Young Driver programme,” said Boullier. “We are delighted he will continue in F2, consolidating his performance in last year’s series.
“His experience will be an advantage and stand him in good stead for 2018.”