Mikhail Aleshin has become the latest high-profile driver to join the inaugural 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship grid.

The Russian driver, who has spent the last three seasons racing in the World Series by Renault with Carlin Motorsport, becomes the second of three Red Bull backed drivers to be confirmed to the new Formula 1 feeder series.

Having become the first driver from his country to win a major international single-seater race at Monza in 2007, Aleshin follows former team-mate Robert Wickens in confirming his presence on the grid.

"It is great to be competing in F2," he said. "The return of the championship has created a lot of excitement and it is great that all the cars are equal. I know Rob Wickens really well and having seen some of the other drivers announced, I know that it is going to be highly competitive.

"I am confident in my ability however, and feel that I can challenge at the top. I would like to thank Red Bull for their continued support in my career."

With only a handful of seats remaining, MotorSport Vision boss Jonathan Palmer is delighted to be welcoming an established race winner such as Aleshin to the series.

"This is yet another fantastic addition to Formula Two. The fact that Red Bull will be committing three of their Junior drivers to F2 shows just how seriously F1 teams are taking the championship.

"Mikhail is an international race winner and is well known in his homeland. I am delighted to welcome an outstanding Russian talent to the already impressive 2009 line-up."

Together with Wickens, Aleshin joins former World Series rival Julien Jousse and Formula 3 racer Sebastian Hohenthal in the championship, which kicks off at Valencia in May.



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