Formula Renault 3.5 stalwart Marco Sørensen has moved across to the GP2 Series with MP Motorsport.
The 23-year-old joins the Dutch team alongside Danïel de Jong as he replaces Tio Ellinas, who had originally replaced Jon Lancaster.
Apart from a podium finish at Monaco, this season has proved a difficult one for Sørensen – his 3rd year in the FR3.5 category.
The Dane entered 2014 as a championship contender with the Tech-1 team; however the partnership – pinned down to just a single car effort – has struggled to flourish, leaving Sørensen 12th in the standings with 29 points; some 103 points shy off of series leader Carlos Sainz Jr.
Sørensen is keen to experience a new environment. He commented: “This is a really good opportunity for me, I’m actually looking forward to a new challenge. It’s great that Gravity Sports Management, Lotus F1 Team and MP Motorsport gave me this opportunity to race in GP2 Series.”
Yet despite his outward confidence, the Dane is also aware of the enormity of the task at hand. “My plan 100% is to get up to speed quickly and get the best results I can for MP Motorsport, but the practice is only 45 minutes and then we have qualifying on the same day. For sure it will be difficult, but there isn’t a lot of pressure so I’m going to enjoy it – that’s when I drive my best.”
In a conversation with members of the Lotus F1 Junior Team earlier this year, Sørensen’s abilities as a test driver during simulator sessions were lauded and that on track results were occasionally less than representative.
There may still be more to come from Dane – it will be interesting to note if the environment at MP Motorsport helps to germinate better results during a year when they too have faced difficulties.
After four rounds, lead driver de Jong has yet to score a point, while Ellinas collected just seven from the three weekends spent in Europe.
Despite this, MP Motorsport team boss Sander Dorsman believes Sørensen is up to the task. “Although he is new to GP2, he brings good experience from Formula Renault 3.5 so we’re sure he will quickly adapt to the GP2 car and be a force to be reckoned with.”
Sørensen comes with experience. Hailing from Svenstrup, he progressed through the rank of Formula Ford in Sweden and Denmark (incorporating the Northern European Zone, and claiming 3rd overall in Denmark), before graduating to Formula Renault 2.0 (3rd in NEC in 2009) and German F3 (2nd in 2011).
His success in Formula Renault brought him into the Renault driver development programme and latterly the Lotus development programme. A move to FR3.5 in 2012 signalled great things, but a difficult 2013 season filled with mechanical issues put a dampener on his efforts.
Last year, Sørensen also ran in a tyre test for Lotus at Paul Ricard.