2019 race winner Leonardo Pulcini will return to the FIA Formula 3 grid in Barcelona, replacing Ben Barnicoat at Carlin Buzz Racing.

Barnicoat contested the two Silverstone rounds of the 2020 season with Carlin, but will now switch back to sports car racing, in the British GT Championship with McLaren, who compete at Donnington Park this weekend.

“This was something of an unexpected call up to return to the FIA F3 championship,” Pulcini said. “But, of course I am excited to get back in the car again and assist Carlin this weekend in any way I can.

“As a driver you want to race at every opportunity so it’s exciting to be back on track in an F3 car in Barcelona. The team have obviously made some good progress in recent weeks and we will be working hard to continue that trend this weekend.”

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Pulcini drove for Hitech Grand Prix in 2019, tasting victory at Silverstone with the British outfit. The 22-year-old was also an experienced running in the GP3 series, and has an impressive knowledge of the tyres. Carlin believe the Italian’s knowledge behind the scenes will be as useful as his pace on track.

Team Principal Trevor Carlin added: “We’d firstly like to thank McLaren for allowing Ben to race with us at Silverstone but of course his McLaren programme remains his priority so we understand he can’t be with us in Barcelona.

“Leo will be a fantastic asset to the team this weekend. He has great experience in the series, is a proven race winner and will provide useful feedback as we continue our upward progression. We’re grateful he was able to join us this weekend between his Italian GT commitments.”