ART signs SMP-backed Smolyar as its first 2020 FIA Formula 3 driver

Jamie Klein
ART signs Smolyar as first 2020 FIA F3 driver
ART signs Smolyar as first 2020 FIA F3 driver

SMP Racing-backed youngster Alexander Smolyar will step up to the FIA Formula 3 Championship in 2020 after landing a drive with the ART Grand Prix squad.

Smolyar placed third in the Formula Renault Eurocup this season behind champion Oscar Piastri and Victor Martins, scoring three victories and seven further podiums.

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The 18-year-old made his debut at the wheel of a FIA F3 car during post-season testing at Valencia in October, when he drove for the Sauber Junior Team.

"I am very glad that I will take part in the FIA Formula 3 Championship with the well-known and experienced ART Grand Prix team," said Smolyar.

"This championship will be a big challenge for me. I think for the first time in my life I will encounter such a serious level of competition.

"I will try to meet the expectations that SMP Racing and ART Grand Prix have of me.

"I'm sure that with their support and help it will be easier for me to adapt to the new championship, and I'm already looking forward to the start of pre-season testing in March."

ART was the team to the beat in FIA F3's predecessor GP3, its drivers winning the title six times in nine years, but was unable to replicate that form in the first season of the new FIA F3 category.

The team's top driver, Christian Lundgaard (pictured above), was sixth in the standings after taking a single race victory in Hungary.

Smolyar becomes the third confirmed driver for the 2020 F3 season after Logan Sargeant at Prema and Calan Williams at Jenzer.

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