GP3 Series racer Alex Fontana is to move to ART Grand Prix for his second season in the category.
Fontana, who is the first to sign with ART for this year, initially tested with the French squad at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi last November, as they aim for their fifth consecutive teams’ title.
A member of Gravity Sport Management’s young driver programme with Lotus F1, Fontana sees this as an opportunity to break out with the ART squad.
According to Fontana, “Our collaboration started very well during winter testing and although I still have to get familiar with people and with the teams method of working, my experience of the car and especially of the GP3 Series, the professionalism at ART Grand Prix will help me to complete this mission.
“I have been training both physically and mentally to maximize this tremendous opportunity given to me and I would like to thank ART Grand Prix and the Lotus F1 Junior Team. My goal is to always be at the forefront and be consistent throughout the season, because it is a crucial factor for the overall championship results.”
The Swiss pilot débuted in GP3 in 2011, but was pinned to only occasional appearances with Jenzer Motorsport. A former champion of the European F3 Open Series, Fontana progressed to the now defunct FIA Formula Two Championship, before committing to his first full GP3 season last year.
The 21-year-old has shown flashes of real speed on occasion and enjoyed a reasonably stab at GP3, with a podium coming in the Silverstone Sunday Race, alongside three points finishes.
ART Grand Prix boss Frederic Vasseur also commented that, “Alex has adapted quickly to his new work environment and has proven his talent throughout the recent three days of testing. His technical qualities, speed and knowledge of the GP3 Series will help us get off to a good start in the early races, something that is essential in such a competitive championship series such as GP3.”
The French team has yet to announce any additional drivers for their GP3 programme.