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Red Bull quartet join Hitech for 2021

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Credit: FIA Formula 2

Red Bull have announced their junior driver line-up for 2021 with four of the squad signing for Hitech GP.

In FIA Formula 2, Liam Lawson graduates with the team he raced for in FIA Formula 3 in both 2019 and 2020 and he will be joined by Juri Vips who was also a Hitech GP driver in 2019.

Vips was left without a permanent drive after the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to his Super Formula season before it could begin but he did manage to race a handful of F2 races for DAMS with Sean Gelael injured mid-season. He scored one podium and impressed in his short stint.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Hitech again,” said Vips. “We had a good year in F3 back in 2019, but we have some unfinished business together. They had a great season in their first year in F2 and I’m confident we will be able to fight for the title this season!”

2021 will be Lawson’s first in F2 but the New Zealander will be encouraged by the team’s strong showing in 2020 which saw Nikita Mazepin finish fifth in the standings and earn a promotion to F1 with Haas.

Lawson said: “I’m excited to be racing in F2 with Hitech this year, following two years of Formula 3, I feel prepared to be in this championship and do a good job for the team.

“I learnt a lot in the F2 test in Bahrain with Hitech and got a good feeling with the car. This being said, there’s definitely still a lot more to learn so I am looking forward to the challenge ahead!”

Vips will be hoping to add to the podium he scored at Mugello when he takes to the track in 2021. Credit: FIA Formula 2

In Formula 3 meanwhile, Jak Crawford makes the expected jump up from ADAC F4 where he finished just two points behind eventual champion Jonny Edgar.

The 15-year-old American said: “I am very happy to spend the 2021 FIA F3 season with Hitech GP. I am excited to make a step up from F4 to compete in the competitive field of drivers.

“With the success the team has had in previous years, I hope I can achieve the same results and fight at the front of the field.”

Joining Crawford will be Japanese French F4 champion Ayumu Iwasa who also joins him in the Red Bull stable with Honda backing.

He said: “I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead. Joining Hitech in both FIA F3 and Asian F3 will be exciting, and I will be able to learn a lot with the success the team have had over the years. I’ll do my best to continuously achieve a good result.”

Team Principal Oliver Oakes said: “We are proud to continue our relationship with Red Bull for a third season. It will see us bring two new exciting talents (Jak and Ayumu) into the FIA F3 grid, who have proven themselves with strong results in Formula 4. It’s an exciting pool of drivers and we look forward to fighting for victories on track.”

That leaves just one spot left in Hitech GP’s feeder series line-up with one driver left to announce to partner Crawford and Iwasa in F3.

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If it's got an engine, I've watched it race. F2 and F3 correspondent with a sprinkling of speedway here and there.
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