Red Bull junior driver and former Mercedes factory racer Lucas Auer will prepare for his full-time Super Formula campaign in 2019 by taking part in the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand over the winter.

Auer has linked up with Red Bull following Mercedes' exit from the DTM series, where he raced for four years, and was confirmed earlier this month to be racing in Super Formula for 2019 with B-Max Racing.

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Despite testing an F1 car last year with Force India, Auer has not raced full-time in single-seaters since 2014 when he entered the FIA European Formula 3 Championship, prompting the Austrian to enter the Toyota Racing Series in January in order to prepare for his Super Formula entry.

Auer has twice before raced in the championship, in 2012 and 2013, recording a best placing of third in the championship. He will race for the M2 Competition team in five-round championship that concludes with the New Zealand Grand Prix on February 10.

We’re obviously excited that Lucas contacted us to compete this coming season and we look forward to welcoming him into the team in January.

"Having a factory Mercedes-Benz driver the calibre of Lucas is important for not only for our team, but the series. Lucas raced here in 2013 and impressed with his pace," M2 chief Mark Pilcher said.

"We are sure that he will be more experienced, having competed in a number of high-level categories around the world since he last raced here, and everyone in the team is eager to see what he can do this season.

“Though he is here to prepare for his Super Formula Series 2019 season there is no doubt he will be one of the favourites."