Tio Ellinas will get an earlier-than-expected chance to sample F1 power, after the Marussia team revealed that he would conduct its next straight-line session ahead of his planned appearance in the summer's Young Driver test.
The news comes hot on the heels of another positive GP3 Series weekend for the Cypriot - in which two top six finishes in Valencia confirmed a four-point championship advantage – and will see him slip into the cockpit of the MR02 at Kemble Airfield on Tuesday (18 June).
“Tio has done a very impressive job for our GP3 team over one-and-a-half seasons now,” F1 team principal John Booth commented, “We were very pleased to welcome him back for a second term - and even more delighted when he brought us our first victory of the season in the opening round in Spain.
“He is definitely a star of the future and deserves both of the opportunities that we are putting his way, starting with this week's aero test at Kemble. This will provide him with some good familiarisation time with the car, which will then enable him to push when we get to the Young Driver test next month. We look forward to seeing what he can do.”
The 21-year old earned the right to a run with Marussia after being the best-placed of the team's development drivers in last year's GP3 standings, and expected to make his F1 debut at next month's Young Driver test at Silverstone. However, he admits that he is thrilled to get the opportunity to get some early acclimatisation under his belt.
“I have been looking forward to the Young Driver test since last Autumn and the weeks can't pass quickly enough, [but] being able to conduct the straight line test this week will help to bridge the gap until Silverstone and will also mean I can hit the ground running there as I will already be familiar with the car systems and the team's procedures,” he explained.
“[While] I have been trying to focus on my GP3 season as I want to give it my all, I can't pretend I'm not excited about the F1 tests and I would like to thank the Marussia F1 Team for the faith they have shown in me. I hope to do a good job to reward that.”