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Arden opts for Mortara, Perez.

Arden International has plucked two stars from the current GP2 Asia Series for its main series campaign, with Edoardo Mortara and Sergio Perez inking deals with the 2005 series vice-champion.

The pair have managed two wins and two podiums between them in the last four Asia Series races, despite only graduating from Formula Three at the end of the 2008 campaign. Mortara follows arch-rival Nico Hulkenberg in arriving from the F3 Euroseries, while Perez moves up after a successful season in the British championship.

Mortara's deal with Arden comes after he made his debut with the team in Bahrain, a partnership that saw immediate success with the Italian on the podium in his first race. Runner-up to Hulkenberg in the Euroseries despite running the unfancied VW engine, Mortara admitted that he was delighted to be extending his agreement with the British-based Arden team.

“I am extremely excited to be racing in this year's main GP2 Series - and to be doing so with Arden,” he said, “This is a very professional team that knows how to win races. I'm already competing with them in the GP2 Asia Series and we're working really well together, so stepping up to the main championship should be straightforward.

“I already have a fantastic rapport with my engineers, Mick and Campbell, and my mechanics. I scored a podium finish in my first GP2 Asia event and hope to achieve similar results in the forthcoming races in Malaysia and Bahrain. My experiences in Asia will put me in the best possible shape for my first race in the main series, at Barcelona in May.''

A mid-season title challenger in last year's British F3 campaign, Perez secured his deal when two Asia Series wins in the last three races helped him become one of the most sought after drivers still without a contract for 2009.

With the soon-to-be-renamed Campos team, having already decided on its driver line-up for 2009, the Mexican has instead been snapped up by Arden which, in turn, benefits from secured title sponsorship from telecommunications giant Telmex.

“Driving for a team such as Arden represents a great opportunity for me and I am really looking forward to it,” says Perez, who becomes the first Mexican driver to secure a European GP2 Series seat, “Together, I believe we have great potential to mount a serious title challenge – and that has to be our goal. It is going to be an extremely tough, competitive season and I aim to make the most of the chance I have been given at an important stage of my career.

“I want to thank Telmex and all the sponsors that have made such a great effort to put me where I am. It is fantastic for Mexico to have a driver so close to F1, but I know I need to do a very good job to make it all the way to the top. I will give 100 per cent in and out of the car to help the team and fight for the championship.”

Arden finished sixth in the 2008 GP2 Series standings, scoring two wins and four podiums courtesy of newly announced STR F1 driver Sebastien Buemi, as well as running Yelmer Buurman and Luca Filippi. It has not reached the heights of a championship challenge, however, since Heikki Kovalainen lost out to fellow F1 graduate Nico Rosberg in the inaugural season showdown in Bahrain.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Edoardo Mortara - Arden International [pic credit: GP2 Series]
Sergio Perez - Barwa International Campos Grand Prix [pic credit: GP2 Series Media]
Sergio Canamasas - Carlin
Nabil Jeffri - Arden International [credit: GP2 Media]
Jack Aitken, Arden, GP3 [Credit: Jack Aitken PR]
2015 GP2 Series Round 11. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Sunday 29 November 2015. The red flag caused by the crash involving Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS), Norman Nato (FRA, Arden International), Nicolas Latifi (CAN, MP Motorsport), Daniel de Jong (NLD, Trident), Sean Gelael (INA, Carlin). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 9. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 28 November 2015. Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International), Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix), Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 9 Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Saturday 28 November 2015. Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) & Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 9 Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Saturday 28 November 2015. Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix), Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) & Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 9 Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Saturday 28 November 2015. Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) & Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 9 Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Saturday 28 November 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) leads Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) & Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) at the start Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 8. Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain Saturday 21 November 2015. Car of Sandy Stuvik (THA, Status Grand Prix), in the tyre barrier Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
Alfonso Celis Jr (MEX, ART Grand Prix), leads Jann Mardenborough, (GBR, Carlin) at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 10. Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain Saturday 21 November 2015. Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME), Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) & Alex Lynn (GBR, DAMS) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 10. Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain Saturday 21 November 2015. Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME), Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) & Alex Lynn (GBR, DAMS) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 10. Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain Saturday 21 November 2015. Alex Lynn (GBR, DAMS), leads at the start as Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) spins, after contact with Rio Haryanto (INA, Campos Racing), Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS) & Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 10. Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain Saturday 21 November 2015. Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 10. Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain Saturday 21 November 2015. Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.

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