GP3 race winner Leonardo Pulcini has joined Hitech GP for the 2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship season.
Pulcini, the 2016 Euroformula Open champion, had a difficult debut year in GP3 in 2017 with Arden, but became a force to be reckoned with after joining Campos for 2018, scoring two wins on his way to fourth in the championship.
After testing with Campos and Trident in the Formula 2 post-season tests in Abu Dhabi, the Italian ultimately chose to remain at the same level as GP3, as it is merged with European F3 to create the new championship.
“We have set the goal to win the championship because I am very confident in my third year, I know how the championship works,” Pulcini told Motorsport.com.
“Last year I was fighting with ART and Trident. I think with Hitech and the possibilities they have, we’ll be at the top of the championship.
“I know Ollie [Oakes, team principal] and some people working there. They are really professional, in how they work and how they approach things, I think it’s what I need in the championship.
“My two teammates are fast guys with a lot of talent. It will be nice to work together and push each other. Juri [Vips] is a fast guy.”
Red Bull junior Vips and Pulcini’s teammate in the third car has yet to be announced.
With some teams charging over £1.5m for a seat in F2, Pulcini struggled to assemble the budget to compete in the second-tier series.
“After the good season I had in GP3, we did testing in F2 with Campos and Trident,” he added. “We were pushing really hard to sign with Campos in F2, but some budget difficulties made it really difficult to sign in F2 for this year.
“We received some amazing offers from teams, including Hitech, and we signed a contract with them.”
Oakes said of his new signing: "The professionalism and talent he has demonstrated last season in GP3 proves that he is a great fit for our team as we enter the new era of Formula 3 together.
"We look forward to the challenge of fighting for the FIA F3 title with him this year.”
Campos has made a signing for its F3 team, with Formula Renault Eurocup graduate Alex Peroni joining the team alongside the previously-confirmed Sebastian Fernandez.
The Australian driver finished ninth in the standings with one win coming at Monaco.
2019 FIA F3 line-up so far:
New F3 to have more tyre degradation than GP3
Ferrari junior Shwartzman completes Prema's F3 line-up
Hitech signs Pulcini for 2019 FIA F3 season
FIA F3 Next session
- Formula 1