Champions Prema Powerteam have confirmed Guan Yu Zhou as its second driver for the 2017 European Formula 3 Championship alongside Callum Ilott.

The Chinese racer made his F3 debut with Motopark in 2016, picking up podiums at Paul Ricard and the Hungaroring en route to 13th in the overall standings, but will switch to the dominant Prema team in 2017.

A member of the Ferrari Driver Academy alongside the likes of Charles Leclerc and Antonio Fuoco, Zhou is thrilled to be joining a multiple title winning outfit.

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"I am really honoured to join the Prema Family! I enjoyed working with them in 2015 and I am looking forward to work with them again next year. They have had huge success in FIA Formula 3 in the past years and I will do my best to carry on their success for 2017."

The deal marks a return to the Prema fold for the Zhou after he competed with the outfit in Italian Formula 4.

"I am delighted to welcome Zhou and the Ferrari Driver Academy back to our Formula 3 team," said team principal Rene Rosin. "We worked with him in 2015 and we had already appreciated his skills as we helped him grow in his first season in single seaters.

"I am sure he will answer the bell in 2017 after getting valuable experience under his belt in 2016 and I hope to see him become the first winning Chinese driver in European competition."

Prema - who will run four cars in 2017 - heads into the new season having dominated for a fourth straight season in 2016 with new Williams F1 driver Lance Stroll. Prior to the Canadian it won in 2013, 2014 and 2015 with Raffaele Marciello, Esteban Ocon and Felix Rosenqvist respectively.