Team Lazarus is to step down from competing in the GP2 championship at the end of the current season, after reaching a deal to hand over its spot in the feeder series to fellow Italian squad Prema Motorsport.

"Our four years in the GP2 Series were a marvellous experience, where we were engaged in an important motorsport category, but also in close contact with Formula One," said Lazarus team principal Tancerdi Pagiaro, explaining why the team was leaving.

"We're passing our baton on to our friends from the same region in Italy, to Prema. We wish them the best of luck and success as we hope for a bright future for the series we're leaving behind.

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"We're leaving the racing series behind, only to follow new goals, while we will always keep an eye on the GP2 Series. You never forget your first love, as they say in Italy. So who knows if our roads might cross again one day in the future."

Announcing the change, GP2 CEO Bruno Michel said: "I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tancredi Pagiaro and his team for their hard work and dedication for the past four seasons. I wish them the best for the future.

"I am very pleased to welcome Prema to the GP2 Series. Their remarkable track record makes me believe that they should be able to adapt quickly to our category."

Prema already have a strong track record of motor sports success, the team having clinched the F3 European title five times in a row between 2011 and 2015. Founded in 1984, it has also been a presence in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Formula Renault 3.5, Italian Formula 4 Championship, ADAC Formula 4 and Italian Formula Three Championship over the years.

"We are delighted to line-up for this exciting new adventure in the GP2 Series," said team manager Rene Rosin. "Prema always followed the evolution of the GP2 concept as an interested spectator, and it is now finally time to join the game in first person.

"The move to the GP2 Series is a logical step for Prema, following the successful experiences in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship and in the Italian and the German Formula 4 Championships, which will continue with the same level of commitment."

In the past, Prema was part of the Toyota Driver Programme and currently has strong ties with Mercedes and Ferrari, including running many of the current Ferrari Driver Academy drivers as part of its driver line-up.

Prema will make its GP2 d?but in the three-day post-season test session at Yas Marina on December 2-4 following the 2015 season finale at the same venue the previous weekend.