De Vries joins ART, Gelael stays with Prema for 2019 F2 season
The line-up for ART Grand Prix and Prema is complete with Nyck de Vries re-joining the French outfit while Sean Gelael keeping his seat for the 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship.
ART announced Nikita Mazepin on Tuesday and followed it up with the confirmation of de Vries. The Dutchman raced for Prema in 2018 but returned to ART for 2019 after having raced for the team in the GP3 Series.
"I’m grateful to ART Grand Prix for giving me this opportunity to continue my career in Formula 2," said de Vries. "We have a long history together; our relationship has always been great and it feels like coming home.
"We also have unfinished business and I’m happy to have the opportunity to try to finish it next year in Formula 2 where our goal will be to be crowned champions." This is de Vries' fourth outfit in the F1's junior ladder.
Team boss Sebastien Philippe added: "I am very happy that the paths of Nyck and ART Grand Prix are crossing once again. His experience, his seriousness and his top speed make him one of the natural leaders in Formula 2.
"Since our first partnership in GP3, we have seen him progress in all areas, both sporting and personal and he has all the qualities that will allow him to achieve his greatest ambitions and that of the company, namely securing both titles in Formula 2 in 2019."
Over at Prema, Gelael's confirmation came after the Italian outfit had confirmed Mick Schumacher on Tuesday. The 2018 FIA European F3 champion takes a step up to F2 this year with an experienced Indonesian teammate.
"This has been an up-and-down season but I want to say thank you for all the experience that we gained," said Gelael. "The start of the year has been strong but from the middle onwards it turned a little gloomy.
"We know what we did wrong though, and what we need to do better and there's quite a lot of unfinished business. I'm happy that the team put forward the trust in me to make an even better job next year.
"I just want to thank everybody involved. Together we have what we need to bring Prema to win the championship again next year and we will do the business right." The Indonesian will 15th in 2018 with 29 points, scoring the lone podium in Monaco.
Team principal Rene Rosin added: "We are delighted to continue working with Sean for the new season. He scored promising results in 2018 and also proved to be a really valuable asset for the team thanks to his true dedication.
"He is the first driver to return for a second season since we started our Formula 2 programme so it will be interesting to understand the dynamics, but we are sure the benefits will be there as well as the results. "We want to help Sean show his real potential and we can't wait to start 2019."
2019 F2 line-up so far:
ART Grand Prix – Nyck de Vries & Nikita Mazepin
Prema – Mick Schumacher & Sean Gelael
Carlin – Nobuharu Matsushita
[Note: This story was also written by me on Formula Rapida]