F3 champion Mick Schumacher makes F2 step with Prema

Reigning European Formula 3 Champion Mick Schumacher will graduate to FIA Formula 2 for 2019 with Prema Racing, the team confirmed on Tuesday.

Schumacher, 19, had a difficult start to his second Formula 3 campaign in 2018 but surged to the front of the standings courtesy of five straight wins, ultimately sealing the title with a race to spare.

Prema, meanwhile, guided Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc to GP2/Formula 2 titles in its first two years in the division in 2016/17, while its lead driver in 2018 – Nyck de Vries – placed fourth overall.

Schumacher will sample the F2/18 machine for the first time during post-season testing, which begins at Yas Marina on Thursday.

“I'm really looking forward to contesting my next season with Prema in Formula 2 - a logical step on my sporting path in my view, because I want to further improve my technical experience and driving skill,” said Schumacher.

“For me, it was very clear to go into Formula 2 with Prema.

“I can't thank the Prema family enough for what we achieved together as a team, especially this year, how we continued to develop together.”

Added team boss Rene Rosin: “We are proud to welcome Mick to our Formula 2 operation for 2019.

“He is an extremely talented and dedicated racer, working with him is a pleasure and we can't wait to begin this adventure together.

“This championship is not an easy one due to its learning curve for rookies especially with the introduction of the new car, but we think that Mick has the maturity and skills needed to make it.

“We are excited for the start of the next chapter in his career and we are happy to be part of it.”

Schumacher is the third driver to be confirmed for Formula 2's 2019 season this week, following the return of Nobuharu Matsushita (Carlin) and the graduation of Nikita Mazepin from GP3 (ART Grand Prix).