Luca Ghiotto will switch to the front running Russian Time outfit for the 2017 GP2 Series alongside team stalwart Artem Markelov.

A close runner-up to F1 driver Esteban Ocon during the 2015 GP3 Series, Ghiotto stepped up to GP2 in 2016 and made a strong impression with the Trident team, claiming his first win in Malaysia as part of his four podium haul.

For 2017, Ghiotto will move over to the Russian Time team to join Markelov as he looks to turn his early promise in a firmer title bid in the F1 feeder series this year.

"Let me firstly thank all at RUSSIAN TIME for the great opportunity they have offered me. Having crossed their cars a few times in 2016, I know how good they are! I think we have great potential to develop together. I'm looking forward to working with my new team mate Artem, and can't wait to hit the track in March to start work."

Set to be Markelov's fourth season in GP2 with Russian Time, the youngster wants to progress beyond a 2016 campaign that yielded his maiden win at Monaco.

"We made an important step last year with a win and a top 10 finish in the championship. The GP2 series is highly competitive and I'm looking forward to doing even better in 2017 and challenging for more wins and hopefully becoming a consistent front-runner."