Finnish driver Simo Laaksonen has joined the MP Motorsport line-up for the inaugural season of the all-new FIA Formula 3 Championship.
The 20-year-old from Marttila is eager to build on previous GP3 Series experience, having raced in the category in 2018. Laaksonen finished his debut GP3 season on a high by claiming his first podium in the sprint race during the finale in Abu Dhabi.
It was the culmination of an upward spiral which saw him take a string of points finishes in the two previous GP3 race meetings at Monza and Sochi. The Finn now switches to MP Motorsport for 2019 as he aims to continue his strong late-season form from last year.
“I’m really happy to be joining MP for my first season in FIA F3”, said Laaksonen, “They were often the surprise package in GP3 last year and I’m sure that together we are able to spring some more surprises in 2019. With the new F3 cars it’s a level playing field for everyone again, so in our pre-season build-up we will be working hard to develop a front-running car.”
“We’ve kept an eye on Simo since he was among our opponents in the 2015 SMP NEZ F4 series - and he's developed strongly ever since”, said Sander Dorsman, MP’s team manager, “Last year it was good to see him grow into a front-runner in the second part of the season, and we are looking forward to using that momentum and extracting the maximum from his capabilities.”
After stepping up from karts, Laaksonen opened his single-seater career with three seasons of Formula 4. Taking a win, three podiums and a fastest lap in the 2015 French F4 Championship, and then a win and two podiums in the 2016 ADAC F4 series, he switched to the Euroformula Open in 2017 where he claimed two podiums and a top six finish in the final standings.
Laaksonen is the first driver signing for MP Motorsport's 2019 FIA F3 Championship line-up.