Sergey Sirotkin has joined to reigning GP2 Series champions ART Grand Prix for 2016 as he looks to mount a challenge on the championship title.
The Russian driver switches from Rapax to ART Grand Prix in GP2 after finishing third in the drivers' championship last season while watching Stoffel Vandoorne storm to the title with ART.
With a championship-winning package for 2016, the former Sauber F1 test driver is confident for another successful campaign and is keen to make the opportunity pay.
“I am very excited to be joining ART Grand Prix because it is a big family which has the culture of motorsport; they are a winning team wherever they have competed so far, like in the GP2 history, with a unbelievable 2015 season,” Sirotkin said. “This is a great opportunity for me, because ART Grand Prix has shown many times that it is the best place for a young driver to be and I intend to make the most of this opportunity, while doing the best possible job for the team.”
ART Grand Prix team manager Sebastien Philippe says he has been closely watching the 20-year-old's burgeoning racing career and believes Sirotkin has the full skills set to emulate former driver Vandoorne, who is unable to remain in GP2 under the series sporting rules after claiming the drivers' title .
“ART Grand Prix has been following Sergey's career for a few years now and we were very impressed by his debut in such a competitive championship as GP2,” Philippe said. “Sergey is both fast over one lap and strong in the race. At just 20 years old, he has an intelligent approach to his craft and his maturity is a plus in a complex and competitive GP2 pack.
“After its success in 2015 in both categories, drivers and team, ART Grand Prix now faces the big challenge of remaining the leader in GP2. This challenge requires particular drivers with an exceptional profile and Sergey meets this requirement perfectly. We are therefore very pleased to have him with us and be able to tackle the 2016 championship season with the highest of ambitions."
Sirotkin becomes the team's first driver announcement for 2016 in GP2 with its second driver expected to be revealed in the coming weeks.