Raffaele Marciello will join the Russian Time outfit for his third season in the GP2 Series this year, it has been confirmed.
The Italian, who placed seventh in the standings last year with Trident, will line up alongside incumbent Artem Markelov at the Virtuosi-run team, with Mitch Evans heading to Campos.
“I’m delighted to join Russian Time, which impressively won the [teams'] championship in its inaugural season,” said Marciello, who is set to be dropped by the Ferrari Driver Academy.
“I’m hoping that we can combine our experience to mount a consistent challenge for the top positions.”
Marciello, the 2013 European Formula 3 champion, made his GP2 debut in 2014 with Racing Engineering and secured a maiden win at Spa, but failed to add to his tally in 2015.
He contested four free practice sessions with the Sauber F1 team last year, but was overlooked for a 2016 race seat with the Swiss squad.
The 21-year-old also tested a Mercedes DTM car at Jerez over the winter, catching the eye of series veteran Gary Paffett.
“I’m delighted to welcome Raffaele to the team," added Russian Time team principal Svetlana Strelnikova. "He has shown consistent speed and Artem has grown stronger as he got to grips with the category.
"I’m optimistic that with both drivers having two years’ experience in F1’s feeder formula, we will be able to mount a challenge in what is an ever more competitive series."
Russian Time's announcement limits Pierre Gasly's options for the 2016 season, the Red Bull junior running for the team as well as Prema in post-season testing.
2016 GP2 line-up so far:
|ART Grand Prix||Sergey Sirotkin|