Arden International has confirmed Aurelien Panis will join Egor Orudzhev in its Formula V8 3.5 driver line-up for the 2016 season.
The Frenchman, son of former F1 race winner Olivier Panis, competed in Formula Renault 3.5 with the Tech 1 Racing team in 2015, but will move over to Arden as the series morphs into the rebranded FV8 championship.
Having finished 12th overall in 2015 with a best finish of fifth place, the 21 year-old is now looking to challenge for podiums this year.
“To have been selected by Arden Motorsport for this new season in Formula V8 3.5 makes me very happy. After a learning season in FR3.5, I am proud and impatient to work with a team which has demonstrated their strengths and successes in the past few years.
“This season, the goal will be to always to fight at the top, to be consistent throughout the season and fight for the wins and for the Championship. I cannot wait for the first Barcelona test with the team in March, before that we will continue to prepare for it.”
Panis will be teamed with Orudzhev, who stays with Arden for an assault on the 2016 FV8 title after winning two FR3.5 races last year.
“It's an exciting opportunity for us to work with Aurelien in 2016,” said team manager Julien Rouse. “We have been following his career closely since we were associated with Caterham and so was he. He has progressed a lot over the last couple of years and is developing into a very talented young driver.
“He impressed us a lot with his qualifying performances in particular in his second full year in FR2.0 . Now with a strong rookie season in the V8 car under his belt the objective will be to replicate those strong performances he has in his second full season in FR2.0 and challenge for race wins in Fv8 3.5.
“I am sure that with the successful experience we have in the category as a team and with a good team mate in Orudzhev, Aurelien will be able to continue his development with us. He might be able to teach us a thing or two about ice racing too.”