Dean Stoneman has joined Marussia Manor Racing for the 2014 GP3 Series season, alongside Patrick Kujala and Ryan Cullen.
Stoneman made a heroic return to single-seater racing in GP3 last November, claiming a podium finish in Abu Dhabi for Koiranen. It was his first race weekend in a single-seater since winning the FIA Formula Two Championship in 2010, having been diagnosed with cancer at the start of the following year.
The British driver remained with Koiranen for the official GP3 test in Abu Dhabi and set the pace on the first day, but has switched to Marussia Manor for the full 2014 season. He also finished fifth in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB last year, taking five race wins.
“It has taken us a while to find the right team, but I think we have now established the best balance of support, professionalism and expertise to give me a strong chance of fighting for the championship this season,” said 23-year-old Stoneman.
“Manor has a long history of success at this level and of course the connection to the Marussia F1 Team is obviously exciting. ?I can’t wait to get to the first test in Portugal later this month and start preparing for my full first season back in single seaters for over three years.”
Kujala also moves across from Koiranen, with whom he finished 20th in last year’s standings with a best result of eighth in Abu Dhabi. That followed seasons in French F4 and Formula Renault 2.0.
?I am very much looking forward to my second season in GP3 and I am delighted to be joining Marussia Manor Racing,” said the Finn, still only 17.
“The team is new to me but their cars and the series are familiar. I visit the yeam this week to prepare my seat and to get to know the engineers. From there we head to Estoril to begin testing and frankly I can?t wait to get started.?
Cullen remains with Marussia Manor for his second season in GP3. He managed a best result of 17th in his rookie season last year, after making the move up from Formula Ford.
?It will be great to get back in the GP3 car after the winter break,” said 22-year-old Cullen. “Last season was a steep learning curve for me; I think GP3 is a pretty difficult environment in which to learn, but I felt I had made a real step forward towards the end of last year.
“I head into my second season of GP3 with a lot of confidence, and committed to my task of delivering for both myself and the team. I have prepared well and am ready for the challenge that GP3 2014 brings.?
The team will continue to offer its highest-placed GP3 driver an F1 test with Marussia. Tio Ellinas benefited from a day’s test in 2013, and will do so again in 2014 after finishing fourth in last year’s standings.
2014 GP3 Series line-up so far
|ART Grand Prix||Alex Fontana, Dino Zamparelli, Marvin Kirchhofer|
|Arden International||Robert Visoiu, Patric Niederhauser, Jann Mardenborough|
|Koiranen GP||Jimmy Eriksson|
|Carlin||Alex Lynn, Emil Bernstorff|
|Marussia Manor Racing||Dean Stoneman, Patrick Kujala, Ryan Cullen|
|Trident||Roman De Beer, Victor Carbone|
|Status Grand Prix||Nick Yelloly|