ART Grand Prix have announced Alexander Smolyar as their first driver for the 2020 FIA Formula 3 Championship.

The 18-year-old steps up following an impressive season in Formula Renault Eurocup, where he finished third, with three race wins and four further podiums.

The Russian’s first experience of F3 machinery was in Valencia during post-season testing, when he drove with Sauber Junior Team by Charouz.

ART Grand Prix were amongst the frontrunners of this season’s F3 Championship, finishing third with 174 points, and one victory.

“I am very happy that I will take part in the FIA Formula 3 Championship with the well-known and experienced ART Grand Prix team,” Smolyar elated. “This championship will be a big challenge for me. I think for the first time in my life I will encounter such a serious level of competition.

“I will try to meet the expectations that SMP Racing and ART Grand Prix. I’m sure that with their support and help it will be easier for me to adapt to the new championship, and I’m already looking forward to the start of pre-season testing in March.”