Racing Engineering are pleased to announce that Louis Delétraz will be driving alongside Gustav Malja for the 2017 GP2 Series, the 19-year-old Swiss will driving for the Spanish team for his first full season in GP2.
Louis started racing karts in his native Switzerland in 2008 before switching to single-seaters four years later when he competed in the final round of the Formula BMW Talent Cup. In the following year, 2013 aged just sixteen, he moved up to Formula Renault 2.0 NEC and in his second year in this class he showed his future potential when he finished as runner-up in the 2014 series after winning at Monza and taking four other podium finishes.
In 2015 Louis completed a third year in Formula Renault 2.0 NEC where he dominated the series by taking nine wins in sixteen races to win the championship. He also raced in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and he finished runner-up with three wins in a very hard fought season. He then graduated to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series competing in just one race but in 2016 he raced in the, now renamed, Formula V8 3.5 Series where he took a dominant victory in the ‘Rookie of the Year’ class and wins at Alcañiz and Paul Ricard together with seven other podium places saw him finish the year as runner-up in the Championship.
Louis made his GP2 debut in the final round of the 2016 Series at Abu Dhabi. He then joined with Racing Engineering for the three days of post-season testing at Abu Dhabi, he quickly adapted to the team setting some very quick laps including being second fastest on the morning of the final session.
Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón, President of Racing Engineering: “We are pleased to announce that Louis is joining Racing Engineering for the 2017 season. Having closely followed his steps since his early years in karting, we are convinced that although 2017 will be his rookie season in GP2, he will quickly adapt to the championship. We first evaluated Louis on our simulator in 2015 and were in close contact with him during the 2016 season to have insight with his progress as a racing driver. Having tested him in Abu Dhabi during the post-season testing earlier this month, it has allowed us to see how much he was able to learn and mature during the last year, which is very promising keeping in mind that he is only 19 years old. The Swiss drivers that we worked with in the past , like Sébastien Buemi, Neel Jani and our 2013 GP2 champion, Fabio Leimer have all achieved great success. We hope to prolong this connection with Louis.”
Louis Delétraz: “GP2 is where I want to be in 2017 since after the strong season in Formula V8, it's the natural next step in my career. It's the final category before reaching Formula One and getting to F1 is my primary goal. Racing Engineering are a good team and have produced some top results during the last five years. For me, there's no better option and I am very happy with the choice. As a rookie, I'll have much to learn during the next season. We all know that the most difficult point in GP2 is learning the Pirelli tyres, so it's very important to gave a good team behind you so they can help you as a driver and work well together. To get the deal sorted before the 2017 season even begins is excellent news because it allows us all to form a good partnership and to make sure that we all know what we're doing. We worked very well together during the three-day test in Abu Dhabi, so I really think we can get some good results in 2017.”