Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup champion Sacha Fenestraz will take the step up to the European Formula 3 championship with Carlin this season.
The 18-year-old will be supported by the Renault Sport Academy as one of the three young drivers new to the squad this season.
“Since I first got behind the wheel of a Formula 3 car, I really liked the handling and the aero efficiency of the car, so I’m really happy to compete in the 2018 European Championship and to continue my journey with Carlin,” Fenestraz said.
“This environment will allow me to continue gaining experience.
“Next season, my goal will be to get first place in the rookies classification and to get the best result in the overall championship.”
Fenestraz claimed seven wins and 17 podiums on his way to the Eurocup title with Josef Kaufmann Racing last season.
In September, he got his first taste of the F3 machinery, running with Carlin at the Nurburgring and picking up a point from the outing.
“The Nurburgring help me a lot to prepare myself for this year and how the FIA F3 weekend works because it’s completely different to a Renault category weekend,” he told The Checkered Flag.
“The races are 10 minutes longer and we have three races per weekend, so we drive quite a lot.
“It helped me quite a bit. I learned how the FIA F3 weekends worked so now I’m looking forward to it.”
He added that, while following in the footsteps of 2017 F3 champion Lando Norris would be difficult, it won’t be impossible.
“Nothing is impossible,” he said. “I’ll have to work really hard to do it, though, as there is a really high level of drivers this year. Some really good second year drivers and rookie year drivers.
“Carlin won the championship last year. They’ve been really good last year and I think they’ll be good this year.
“I’ll try my best. I have good team-mates and we’ll work really hard together to try to do the best as possible. So why not be in the front rows starting this year? It would be awesome.”
The Frenchman joins Devlin DeFrancesco and Jehan Daruvala at the team for 2018 as Carlin aims to continue its winning streak.
“Sacha has raced with us once in the championship already where he was extremely impressive in qualifying particularly,” said team boss Trevor Carlin.
“We were pleased to work with him again in Macau where as a rookie he was extremely impressive and finished the race very well – we know that he has the potential to do great things on track as he has already proven in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Championship, so we have no doubt that he will be competitive from the word go as he hits the track this year.”
The championship won’t begin until mid-May and Fenestraz isn’t expecting to be competing before the first round at Pau, but will be testing with Carlin and Renault to prepare for his rookie season.