ART Grand Prix has announced Nikita Mazepin will make the step up to Formula 2 with the team for the 2019 season.

Mazepin finished runner-up to GP3 champion and ART GP teammate Anthoine Hubert in 2018, despite winning four races to Hubert’s two across the campaign.

The Russian is the first driver confirmed by ART GP for its F2 assault in 2019, after taking Williams-bound F1 driver George Russell to the title this year.

“I am really happy to be continuing with ART Grand Prix for my step up to F2,” Mazepin said.

“This is a natural progression given our success this year in GP3. I am very much looking forward to the challenge of my rookie season in F2.”

ART GP CEO Sebastien Philippe added: “Continuing our partnership with Nikita into Formula 2 is the logical continuation of a successful 2018 season, where he was consistently in the fight for victory and for the GP3 title, something he only just missed out on in the final race weekend of the season.

“Nikita was a rookie in GP3, but his performances were remarkable from day one with a stunning victory in Barcelona.

“Nikita has several strengths: he is fast and he constantly strives to progress in everything he does. I'm sure he can be a centrepiece in our Formula 2 team, just as he was in GP3.”

The Force India development driver will make his series debut in the post-season F2 test later this week.

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