MP Motorsport has promoted its Finnish ace Niko Kari to the squad's FIA Formula 2 Championship team ahead of this weekend's rounds in Sochi, Russia.
From this weekend, 29th/30th September, the 18-year-old will join Dorian Boccolacci to recreate the GP3 Series line-up with which the Dutch team started the 2018 season – but one level higher up the motor racing ladder.
Kari steps up to Formula 2 after a second season in GP3 in which he scored a string of points finishes for MP Motorsport. Having started the year as a team-mate to Boccolacci, the Finn will now once again team up with the Frenchman. Kari will take the seat in F2 previously occupied by Ralph Boschung.
“I’m really happy that MP has had the confidence to promote me to their Formula 2 team”, said Kari, “The new F2 cars have looked fantastic this season, and I can’t wait to step into one of them myself. I’m also looking forward to working with Dorian again, with whom I had a great working relationship during our time as GP3 team-mates.”
“Niko has been a bit unlucky in his second GP3 season with us, but he has always shown his raw pace”, says Sander Dorsman, team manager at MP Motorsport, “We are confident he will quickly convert that pace into results in the final few Formula 2 races of the season.
"With two young hotshoes in our F2 cars, we are aiming to surprise a fair few people in the category in the two remaining weekends at Sochi and Abu Dhabi.”
Kari finished 10th in last year’s GP3 Series, capping the season with a win in race one at Abu Dhabi. Having taken the SMP NEZ Formula 4 title in 2015, his debut season in single-seaters, the Finn moved up to the FIA Formula 3 Championship in 2016 where he took a win and five podiums. He also made his GP3 debut in 2016 at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.