Dutch squad Van Amersfoort Racing has switched engine suppliers from Volkswagen to Mercedes-Benz for the 2016 FIA European Formula 3 championship.

The deal has been secured as part of Van Amersfoort's future strategy and to strengthen its ties with Mercedes-Benz motorsport division HWA and as a result ends its 8-year partnership with Volkswagen in Formula 3.

"In preparation for the upcoming season, we have been studying the different possibilities with great care and for strategic reasons, we decided to opt for the Mercedes-Benz engine and we are looking forward to a good co-operation with Mercedes-Benz and its motorsport division HWA in the future," Team principal Frits van Amersfoort said. "At this occasion, we would also like to thank Volkswagen and engine tuner Spiess for the great times and the success we have had together over the years.

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Van Amersfoort Racing enjoyed 244 races with Volkswagen in the German Formula 3 Cup and European Formula 3 series between 2008 and 2015, taking 45 pole positions, 57 wins, 53 fastest laps and 148 total podium finishes.

The team has seen current F1 star Max Verstappen pass through its ranks, competing in the 2014 Euro F3 championship before making the jump to F1 with Toro Rosso, and has also seen former drivers Christijan and Bas Leinders make it into the premier class.

"We can look back upon a successful era in the history of our team together with Volkswagen," van Amersfoort added. "When it comes to engine tuner Spiess, our ties go back even further, to our very first year in German Formula 3 in 1997, including our title-winning campaign with Bas Leinders the following season.

"When you look at what Mercedes-Benz has achieved in Formula 3, and the continued involvement they have at all level of the sport, one can only be impressed. We are delighted with the opportunities Mercedes-Benz are offering us and we are keen to start working together in preparation for the 2016 season."