Switzerland’s Louis Delétraz will graduate to the GP2 series in 2017 after joining the front-running Racing Engineering team.
The 19-year-old, who underlined his credentials as one of motorsport’s top young talents when he finished as the runner-up in this year’s Formula V8 3.5 series, will contest the full 22-race GP2 season with the Spanish outfit.
Louis enjoyed a successful post-season test in Abu Dhabi with Racing Engineering earlier this month and the fact that he settled in to his new surroundings so quickly and managed to end one of the timed sessions as the second fastest driver, was the catalyst for him to commit his immediate future to the squad.
“GP2 is where I want to be in 2017 since after the strong season in Formula V8, it’s the natural next step in my career. It’s the final category before reaching Formula One and getting to F1 is my primary goal,” said Louis, who was strongly supported by ADS Securities and GP Xtreme this season.
“Racing Engineering are a good team and have produced some top results during the last five years. For me, there’s no better option and I am very happy with the choice.”
Having only contested one GP2 event, the final round of the 2016 season at Yas Marina, Louis is well aware of the challenge he faces in 2017. But he thinks Racing Engineering will provide the perfect environment in which to learn a new category and to ultimately perform at his best.
“As a rookie, I’ll have much to learn during the next season. We all know that the most difficult point in GP2 is learning the Pirelli tyres, so it’s very important to have a good team behind you so they can help you as a driver and work well together,” he said.
“When I first came to Racing Engineering for the test, I felt at home straight away. I had a very good relationship with the guys and there was a great structure in place. We didn’t need to speak a lot to understand each other and make it work. That was a very good point.
“To get the deal sorted before 2017 even begins is excellent news because it allows us all to form a good partnership and to make sure that we all know what we’re doing. We worked very well together during the three-day test in Abu Dhabi, so I really think we can get some good results in 2017.”
Racing Engineering president, Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon, welcomed Louis to his team. He said: “We are pleased to announce that Louis is joining Racing Engineering for the 2017 season. Having closely followed his steps since his early years in karting, we are convinced that although 2017 will be his rookie season in GP2, he will quickly adapt to the championship.
“We first evaluated Louis on our simulator in 2015 and were in close contact with him during the 2016 season to have insight with his progress as a racing driver. Having tested him in Abu Dhabi earlier this month, it has allowed us to see how much he was able to learn and mature during the last year, which is very promising keeping in mind that he is only 19 years old.
“The Swiss drivers we worked with in the past have all achieved great success, like Sébastien Buemi, Neel Jani and our 2013 GP2 champion, Fabio Leimer. We hope to prolong this connection with Louis.”