Alex Palou will race in the Formula 3 European Championship in 2018 for Hitech Grand Prix.

The 20-year-old spent two years in GP3 between 2015 and ’16, showing good one-lap pace but struggling for results in the races, taking just two podiums and one race win.

He switched to Japanese Formula 3 last year, taking three race wins and finishing third in the drivers’ championship. He also made six appearances in the now defunct World Series Formula V8 3.5 series, winning on his debut weekend and taking two further podiums.

Palou drove in the final two rounds of the Formula 2 championship for Campos Racing, scoring points on debut and then beating Lando Norris over his second and final weekend in the series.

The Spaniard set the fastest time in Japanese Super Formula’s rookie and manufacturer test last month.

“Both the team and I are hungry to fight for the championship together,” said Palou.

“The winter tests went really well and I am looking forward to racing back in Europe this year.”

Hitech team principal Oliver Oakes said: “Alex has consistently showed that he is an extremely young, quick and competent driver.

“His one-off appearances in Formula 2 and the rookie test in Super Formula showed he has something special.

“We are looking forward to giving him the chance of a complete programme to mount a challenge for the FIA F3 Championship [title].”

Palou will be joined at Hitech by 2017 BRDC Formula 3 champion Enaam Ahmed, with his other team-mates yet to be confirmed.