Marlon Stockinger has been named as Status Grand Prix's first signing for its debut GP2 season.

The 23-year-old driver is part of the Lotus F1 junior driver programme and has spent the past two seasons in Formula Renault 3.5 after graduating from GP3 in 2012. The driver of Filipino-Swiss decent notched up a podium appearance at the Nurburgring on his way to ninth in the drivers' championship with the Lotus team last year.

Stockinger raced for Status GP in 2012 at GP3 level, winning in Monaco, and says he has fantastic memories with the team and hope he can create some more for the upcoming year.

"It is really good to come back to Status and I have a lot of happy memories from our time in GP3, especially winning in Monaco," he said. "The team are based at Silverstone which is where my European racing career kicked off and it feels very nostalgic and positive. I feel very excited to be back with the team in my first GP2 season.

"GP2 is a tough championship and this year there are some very big names chasing the title. As a rookie, I think the best thing is to aim to be in the points and finish in the top ten, progressing one step at a time and learning as much as possible during pre-season testing.

"My fans are already so excited about what I am doing this season and guessing which team I am with. It is pretty cool that motorsport is growing more popular in the Philippines and I am really thankful to have so much support."

Team boss Teddy Yip Jr says although GP2 will be a set up for the Status GP team they feel its experience in other series has given them a good platform to start from. The team has raced in the GP3 category since 2010.

"We are delighted to welcome Marlon back to the team following a successful GP3 campaign in 2012," Yip said. "Marlon is a hard-working and dedicated driver and we know he will apply a high level of professionalism to his maiden GP2 season.

"This season will be Status' first year in GP2 however we have an experienced team of personnel to give Marlon all the tools he needs to succeed in this highly competitive F1 feeder series. We are extremely excited to see him progress."

The British team are expected to announce its second GP2 driver in the coming weeks as it gears up towards the season opener in Bahrain on the 18-19 April.