ART Grand Prix has recruited Alexander Smolyar for the 2020 Formula 3 Championship, the French team confirmed on Monday.
Smolyar, part of the Russia-based SMP Racing programme, finished third in this year’s Formula Renault Eurocup.
He is ART Grand Prix’s first signing for next year’s Formula 3 category.
“This championship will be a big challenge for me,” said the 18-year-old.
“I think for the first time in my life I will encounter a serious level of competition.
“I will try to meet the expectations that SMP Racing and ART Grand Prix have put on 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.”
Added team boss Sebastien Philippe: “Alexander has been on ART Grand Prix’s radar since his remarkable debut in single-seaters.
“He is still young, he only has three years of single seaters under his belt but he has the maturity to manage a championship and the pressure of a race weekend, where the slightest error is paid for in cash.
“He is one of those drivers with whom we know we will have all the tools to do a good job, starting from the first race in 2020.”
ART Grand Prix, which dominated Formula 3 predecessor GP3, claimed third in this year’s Teams’ Championship, taking its solitary win in Hungary.
It fielded Renault juniors Christian Lundgaard and Max Fewtrell, alongside David Beckmann.
Next year’s Formula 3 championship will begin in Bahrain, in March, as a support act to the Formula 1 grand prix.