GP3 Series Testing Gets Underway Tomorrow at Paul Ricard

Credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP3 Series Media Service

The GP3 Series returns to action tomorrow as the first pre-season test takes place.

At the Circuit Paul Ricard the test will run for the 21-22 February as the build up to the season opener at Circuit de Catalunya on 11-13 May ramps up.

Seven time Teams’ Champions ART Grand Prix arrive with a trio of new drivers after the promotions of George RussellJack Aitken and Nirei Fukuzumi to the FIA Formula 2 Championship.

Anthoine Hubert remains with the French squad for a second season and is looking to improve on a strong debut season last year, in which he claimed fourth in the championship.

Briton Jake Hughes returns to the series after a year out, having raced for DAMS in 2016. Joining him is countryman Callum Ilott, a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy.

Nikita Mazepin completes the quartet. The Sahara Force India development driver is most notably known for having a bust up with his now team-mate Ilott which left the latter with a black eye.

After a strong 2017, Trident retain Giuliano Alesi – who is also a member of the FDA – following a breakout 2017 which saw him win three races. They have also retained American Ryan Tveter who was the ‘nearly’ man on a number of occasions in his rookie year.

Alessio Lorandi joins the squad, from Jenzer Motorsport, and is also looking to building on an impressive 2017. Joining the squad just for the testing will be Pedro Piquet as the Italian team looks to finalise their line-up.

Having joined the Jenzer squad late into the 2017 campaign Juan Manuel Correa will remain with the team for a full season and will be joined by Tatiana Calderon who is joining her third team in three years of the GP3.

Seventeen-year-old David Beckmann completes the line up of the Swiss team.

Arden International welcomes a brand new line-up in 2018 as rookie Gabriel Aubry joins along with Julien Falchero who raced for Campos Racing in the series last year.

The third and final driver to the Arden line-up will be announced on Wednesday morning.

Doing the opposite of Falchero, Leonardo Pulcini leaves Arden for Campos to stay in the GP3 for a second year. The Italian is joined by rookies Simo Laaksonen and Diego Menchaca.

MP Motorsport will be entering the series in 2018 having competed in the GP2 Series/Formula 2 since 2013. The Dutch team has confirmed that 2017 race-winners Dorian Boccolacci and Niko Kari will race for them, a clear indication of their intent.

Leonard Hoogenboom joins the squad for the opening test in the hopes of proving himself worthy of a full-time seat.

The test sessions will begin at 9.00 local time until 12.00, on Wednesday the afternoon session with start at 14.00 running until 17.00. However, on Thursday afternoon running will start at 13.00 and end at 16.00.

Teams will conduct all their running on the medium compound of the Pirelli PZero tyres with six sets having been allocated per car.

Le Castellet Test – Drivers’ Entry List

Team NumberDriver
ART Grand Prix1Callum Ilott
ART Grand Prix2Anthoine Hubert
ART Grand Prix3Nikita Mazepin
ART Grand Prix4Jake Hughes
Trident5Pedro Piquet
Trident6Giuliano Alesi
Trident7Ryan Tveter
Trident8Alessio Lorandi
Jenzer Motorsport9Tatiana Calderon
Jenzer Motorsport10Juan Manuel Correa
Jenzer Motorsport11David Beckmann
Arden International14Gabriel Aubry
Arden International15Julien Falchero
Arden International16TBA
Campos Racing 18Leonardo Pulcini
Campos Racing 19Simo Laaksonen
Campos Racing 20Diego Menchaca
MP Motorsport22Dorian Boccolacci
MP Motorsport23Leonard Hoogenboom
MP Motorsport24Niko Kari