F3 aces Renger van der Zande and Leonardo Cordeiro have become the latest drivers to confirm their participation in the inaugural GP3 Series campaign, signing with RSC Mucke Motorsport and MW Arden respectively.
Dutchman van der Zande won races in both British and Euroseries F3 last season, but knew that he needed to move on, having already made his mark in higher categories. He will race in the new F1 support series - which will support seven European grands prix and feature a stand-alone round in Portugal - with the guidance of former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher, who has taken up the role of team principal in RSC Mucke.
"I am very happy with the choice which I have made for the season," van der Zande commented, "I had several options in different categories, but this series and package really stood out for me. The experience of both Ralf Schumacher and Peter Mucke will be invaluable to my career and success in the championship. All three of us have a connection through Mercedes so it seemed to all fit really well together."
The Dutchman makes his GP3 debut at this week's Paul Ricard group test with the backing of Sensation, GPUpdate.net
, Sandtler and Sebring.
"I cannot wait to drive the first few laps and get back into action," he admitted, "I am very curious about our performance, but I already I have confidence it will be a
good one. We are all working very hard to ensure it."
Meanwhile, South American F3 champion Cordeiro has confirmed that he will race with MW Arden this season, having taken the 2009 title with two races remaining. In the 18 rounds he contested, he claimed 14 podium finishes, including ten victories, a dozen pole positions and ten best laps.
“GP3 offers me the direct contact with the F1 extravaganza and teams, which brings me closer to my main professional objective," the Brazilian explained, "I thank Mark Webber and Christian Horner for the opportunity to join the team. The team is not only me and both of them, but for all the union of our knowledge and the efforts of each team member that I am confident will give their best to achieve with me the best results in this first GP3 season.”
Cordeiro will line-up alongside Miki Monras and Michael Christensen at MW Arden.
“We are very happy to welcome Leonardo in our team," team manager Julian Rouse added, "He showed in his South American history that he has the talent we need to enforce our crew and show the real competitiveness of our car in the first year of GP3.”