Reigning GP3 Series champions ART Grand Prix have confirmed that Nikita Mazepin will race for them in 2018.
The Russian is the second driver to be confirmed to the grid, with the other being his new team-mate Callum Ilott.
“I am really happy to make the step up to GP3 with ART for 2018. I have enjoyed my last 2 seasons in Formula 3 where I have improved a lot as a driver and the second part of this year was very positive,” said Mazepin. “The recent GP3 test with ART in Abu Dhabi went really well and I immediately felt comfortable and trusted in the ART Team. I am really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together in 2018.”
Mazepin has a great wealth of racing experience behind him having competed in: MRF Challenge, Formula Renault 2.0, Toyota Racing Series and FIA European Formula 3.
In 2016, Mazepin was rewarded for his efforts with two days Formula 1 testing with Sahara Force India. However, that same year the Russian drew controversy after it was revealed he had an altercation with another driver which resulted in him being banned from one race after he punched his rival. The driver is now his team-mate Ilott.
Following the culmination of this year’s GP3 championship, Mazepin took part in the post-season test with ART where he impressed and finished the two days in the top three.
Sebastien Philippe, ART Team Principal, said: “Giving Nikita a steering wheel in the GP3 Series is the logical continuation of our partnership, which started on an excellent basis in Abu Dhabi. In addition, ART Grand Prix has had a good relationship with Hitech for several years, and this collaboration with Nikita is the culmination of the work they carried out together. Nikita has given us a glimpse of his personal nature and his qualities as a racing driver and I am sure he can be an integral part in our fight for an 8th team title.”