Former McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner George Russell has been confirmed as the first driver at the ART Grand Prix team for the 2017 GP3 Series season.

The news was confirmed alongside Russell joining former series’ champion Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein as a Mercedes junior driver.

He took part in the first and third days of post-season testing for the team, finishing third at the end of the first day before being fastest in both morning and afternoon sessions on his final time with the car.

The 18-year-old makes the step up to GP3 after spending the last two seasons racing in the European Formula Three championship, claiming two top-ten finishes. He finished sixth in the Drivers’ Championship in 2015 before improving to third in 2016, only behind Prema Powerteam’s Lance Stroll and Maximillian Guenther in the standings.

He is the fourth driver to move to the series after taking part in the 2016 F3 season, following in the steps of Alessio Lorandi, Niko Kari and Arjun Maini who took part in the 2016 season with Koiranen GP and Jenzer respectively.

Russell is the fourth driver to be confirmed as racing in the 2017 season, joining Trident’s Kevin Joerg, Campos’ Julien Falchero and Arden’s Niko Kari on the grid.

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