Monegasque Clivio Piccione will drive for championship winning team Carlin Motorsport in next year's British Formula Three Championship in a bid to win the prestigious title.
Team boss Trevor Carlin is delighted to have Clivio driving for his squad and expects the partnership will yield many victories. "I'm very happy that Clivio has joined the Carlin Motorsport team," said Trevor. "He's a great driver and we've seen that Clivio can win races and we believe we'll enjoy future successes together."
The 19-year-old will conduct his first of seven tests with Carlin Motorsport next week and his first race for the team will be at the Sardinian street race at Cagliari on November 2nd. Clivio can't wait to start working with Carlin, he said: "They are the best team around at the moment and it'll be good to learn how to work with the team under race conditions. Street tracks are always tricky as there is no room for errors."
Clivio Piccione has grown in confidence in his first season in the Championship class of British Formula Three the most competitive junior single-seater category in the world for aspiring Grand Prix stars. He recorded a brilliant win earlier in the year at the demanding Knockhill circuit in Scotland and towards the end of the season had a superb second at the Rockingham Motor Speedway.
"I've learnt a lot this year driving with Manor Motorsport. I've learnt how to set the car up and understand the tyres with guidance from my manager Jim (Warren) and the team, but it's been a hard, tough and an extremely competitive year," he said. "Before the season began, I thought we would have had better results than we did and to be honest we've struggled a bit."
The win at Knockhill was the highlight of Clivio's season. His natural speed took his Dallara F303 Mugen Honda to a brave pole position, despite the pain he was suffering after he tore a muscle in his back.
"I just felt everything was right that weekend it all seemed to go so easily. We had the speed, the car felt very good and it all came together."
The race at the Rockingham Motor Speedway later in the season was another strong point as Clivio raced to a fantastic second and fourth for races one and two respectively in front of 44,000 wildly enthusiastic spectators. "The car was brilliant from the moment I first hit the track," said the Monaco-born star. "I wasn't struggling with grip and was really confident to push the car as at most races this year, we've been quick at some stage over the weekend."
After his first season in the Championship class, Clivio is confident that his second year will be even better. "Over the season, it's been up and down, but I've learnt to be tougher, stronger in my head and to focus on the driving. I can't wait for 2004!"