Williams have confirmed the addition of Argentinian racer Franco Colapinto to their Driver Academy, plus his 2023 racing plans.
The 19-year-old is the latest unaffiliated driver to be snapped-up by a Formula 1 team, recent examples seeing F2 champion Felipe Drugovich joining Aston Martin as their reserve driver, while Zane Maloney and Enzo Fittipaldi have joined the Red Bull Junior Team.
Colapinto picked up two race wins in the 2022 F3 campaign with Van Amersfoort Racing, scoring five podiums overall on his way to a P9 finish in the standings.
And now a part of the Williams setup, Colapinto will remain in F3 for 2023 as he moves to MP Motorsport. It is a team he knows well, having previously competed for them in Formula Renault Eurocup and the Formula Regional European Championship.
In joining Williams, Colapinto spoke of his pride to be associated with the team that his compatriot, the late Carlos Reutemann previously competed for in Formula 1, winning three races as a Williams driver.
Reacting to the news, Colapinto said: “It’s a real honour to join Williams Racing as an Academy Driver. They are one of the most successful teams in Formula 1 history and I am looking forward to following in the footsteps of my fellow countryman Carlos Reutemann.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for which I am forever grateful. Thanks to everyone at Williams for putting their trust in me.
“I am also excited to announce that I will be back with MP Motorsport for the 2023 FIA F3 season.
“I really enjoyed my time with the team in Eurocup and FRECA and we achieved some great results together.
“The goal is to reach even higher this time. My first year in FIA F3 was all about learning and I will use all the knowledge I’ve gathered to aim for the title next year.
“I am grateful to everyone who made this possible. Bullet Sports Management, YPF, ROFGO Racing, and of course, my beloved country Argentina. Thank you for all the support. I can’t wait to get the season started.“
Colapinto has also competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, his appearance coming back in 2021, while he is also a class winner in the European Le Mans Series.
Sven Smeets, sporting director at Williams Racing, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Franco to the Williams Racing Driver Academy.
“His career achievements since starting karting highlight Franco’s natural ability behind the wheel and what he’s capable of in the years to come.
“He had a standout rookie season in Formula 3 with several strong performances that led to podiums and wins. We look forward to working closely with Franco to support and nurture his development as a driver.”
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