Prema closing on GP3 expansion for 2018

Italian single-seater powerhouse squad Prema could expand into the GP3 Series next season, Motorsport.com has learned.

Prema closing on GP3 expansion for 2018
Guan Yu Zhou, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F317 - Mercedes-Benz
Antonio Fuoco, PREMA Powerteam
Start of the GP3 race
Mick Schumacher, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F317 - Mercedes-Benz
Antonio Fuoco, PREMA Powerteam

Prema Racing took the GP2 Series (now Formula 2) by storm in winning the title in its maiden season in 2016, with its drivers Pierre Gasly and Antonio Giovinazzi locking out the top two spots in the standings.

It currently leads this year's F2 standings with Ferrari junior Charles Leclerc.

But any entry into GP3 would not affect sister squad Prema Powerteam’s efforts in European F3. 

GP3 would instead be an additional programme to Prema’s existing teams in F2, F3, and the German and Italian F4 championships.

Prema team manager Rene Rosin told Motorsport.com: “Starting from the position that we are fully committed to F3, we are evaluating every possibility, and of course GP3 is one of them.

“A decision will be taken very soon [likely within the next month], but nothing will take us out from our commitment to F3 for 2018 and onwards.”

With a high possibility of F3 and GP3 effectively merging for 2019, any Prema entry would effectively give the squad a one-year head start in having a presence on the third tier at Formula 1 events.

Sources suggest that the GP3 moniker would disappear and that the series would replace the existing European F3 championship, but what form the chassis and engines would take is still under discussion.

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