Niko Kari is to remain in the GP3 Series in 2018, joining newcomers MP Motorsport.
The Dutch squad is to make its GP3 debut this year after filling DAMS‘ entry.
Kari made his debut in the series at Spa Francorchamps in 2016, filling in for Ralph Boschung for two races before joining the championship full time in 2017.
During the Abu Dhabi post season test, Kari tested for MP Motorsport and topped the timesheets on two of the three days. From there talks emerged resulting in a contract for the Finn.
“I’m extremely pleased to be joining MP Motorsport.” said Kari. “We worked together quite well at Abu Dhabi – in fact, our cooperation was so positive that I was really keen on joining the team. I’m happy that we managed to agree terms for my second season in GP3 and I’m really hoping for a repeat of our test form in the series!”
Sander Dorsman, MP Motorsport’s team manager, said: “It’s so good to see Niko join our team after we showed such good form in the GP3 test at Abu Dhabi.
“I’m confident we can build on that performance going into our debut season and help Niko gain more wins in GP3.”
Kari finished tenth in last year’s championship, ending the season with victory during the Feature Race at Abu Dhabi. He managed a further podium earlier in the season, taking third in the Sprint Race at Silverstone.
The Finn had been a member of the Red Bull Junior Academy but the decision was taken in August to end Kari’s membership at the end of 2017.
Kari will get a taste of his MP Motorsport machinery three times prior to the start of the season with tests at Le Castellet, France (21-22 February), Jerez de la Frontera, Spain (14-15 March) and Barcelona, Spain (17-18 April).
The season then gets underway in Barcelona on 11-13 May.