Hitech GP have announced that Juri Vips will be joining the Silverstone-team in their 2019 FIA F3 campaign.
The 18-year old Estonian driver will be backed by Red Bull in the newly-formed Formula One support category, which sees a merge between the FIA European F3 Championship and GP3 with the aim to simplify the junior single-seater ladder.
Vips will join Hitech GP for his second season in the third tier of the Formula One junior ladder in 2019. Following a successful season in European F3 this year, claiming second place in the Rookie championship and fourth in the drivers’ standings, Vips got behind the wheel in his first race as a new member of the Red Bull Junior Team in Macau last month.
The Estonian also took part in post-season tests in Abu Dhabi last week, finishing 12th fastest in the GP3 machinery, a car similar to the Dallara FIA F3 chassis.
Vips made his single-seater debut in 2016 in the Italian F4 claiming the Rookie title, followed by a strong campaign in the ADAC Formula 4 Championship. He won the ADAC Formula 4 championship a year later in 2017. The subsequent year saw him graduate to the FIA F3 European Championship, clinching second place in the Rookie championship, and fourth in the overall standings.
With a third-place finish in this year’s FIA F3 European Championship, Hitech GP will field the 2019 FIA F3 Championship in brand-new machinery based on the current GP3 car. Features include a 3.4-litre Mecachrome engine and six-speed Hewland gearbox, alongside DRS and halo.
The 2019 FIA F3 calendar will see the team contest a total of eight rounds as part of the F1 support category.
The season opener will take place in Barcelona, Spain on 10-12 May 2019.
Reflecting on his signing with Hitech GP, Juri Vips commented: “I’m really excited to join Hitech GP for 2019. So far the team has impressed me a lot and I really like the way they work."
"FIA F3 will be a very competitive championship next year and it will be tough to win, but it’s great to see how motivated everyone is to achieve one common goal of ours.”
Hitech GP’s Team Principal, Oliver Oakes commented: “I’m delighted to have Juri join us for the new for 2019 Formula 3 Championship. I have known him for several years and we saw he came on really strong throughout the second half of the F3 season - what a talent he is! We are looking forward to fighting for victories with him in 2019."
"As a company we are also looking forward to working closely with the Red Bull Junior Team.”
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