Fresh from winning the GP3 Series championship Ferrari junior Charles Leclerc will step up to GP2 for 2017 with defending champions Prema Powerteam and is joined by fellow GP3 graduate Antonio Fuoco.

Prema Powerteam strengthens its ties with Ferrari and its junior academy driver programme by welcoming both Leclerc and Fuoco as GP2 rookies next season.

Leclerc sealed a sensational GP3 title in Abu Dhabi despite not scoring a single point over the race weekend and steps up to GP2 after just one season in the junior category.

The Monegasque driver will be partnered by Italian Fuoco who moves up from GP3 after two years having finished third in the drivers' championship for Trident this year.

Fuoco competed for Prema in while winning the Formula Renault Alps title in 2013 and the European Formula 3 series in 2014 on his way to fifth in the standings.

"I am delighted to line-up for the 2017 GP2 Series with Prema and with the Ferrari Driver Academy," Leclerc said. "I can't wait to start preparations for this new and exciting challenge.

"After having completed my GP3 experience in the best possible way, I will continue to give my 100 percent to keep bringing home positive results. I am sure that the support of the reigning champion team, which also finished 1-2 in the 2016 driver standings, will prove crucial."

"Entering the GP2 Series in 2017 will be particularly exciting, and doing it with an Italian team which is also the reigning champion will provide some additional motivations for me to do well," Fuoco said. "I already raced with Prema in the past and I am aware of the high performance level of their cars, as confirmed by the outstanding results they got this season.

"I think that combining the potential of both the team and the Ferrari Driver Academy, we will definitely get some great satisfactions and continue in our personal and professional growth."

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