Prema Racing has completed the driver line-up for its maiden foray into the GP2 Series, with Red Bull protégé Pierre Gasly joining Antonio Giovinazzi.
Runner-up to F1 driver and fellow Red Bull-backed racer Carlos Sainz in the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Championship, Gasly stepped up to GP2 with DAMS, but despite three pole positions, he failed to land a race win.
His four podiums would, however, take him to eighth in the overall standings – as the third best placed rookie –, allowing him to retain his Red Bull backing for 2016 and assure him of a seat at the incoming Prema Racing team.
“It will be another thrilling and very busy season continuing my work as reserve driver for Red Bull Racing but my priority is clearly to win the GP2 series and I couldn't be doing it with a better group of people than the Prema team,” he said. “They have a great reputation and ability for winning championships and I know that their skills and commitment along with my GP2 experience will give us what we need this season.
“I quickly had a great feeling with Prema as soon as we started working together at the GP2 Abu Dhabi test last December, extremely professional and experienced. They have won a lot of championships and while they know that moving up to GP2 will be a great challenge we are confident that we can win.”
The third team to confirm its full driver line-up for the 2016 GP2 Series, Prema steps up to the championship having dominated the European F3 Championship for the past three seasons.
“We could not have selected a better driver for our maiden GP2 Series campaign,” said team manager Rene Rosin. “Gasly is an extremely talented and skilled driver who delivered convincing performances in all the championship he entered so far. I'm sure that this year, with all the experience he matured in 2015, he will make a further step. With Pierre and Giovinazzi I am sure to rely on a really high-quality pairing.”