ART Grand Prix have announced the signing of Frederik Vesti for the 2021 Formula 3 campaign, with the Danish racer also being added to the Mercedes Junior Team.

Vesti was a title contender with PREMA during his rookie season of F3, scoring four podiums, three of which were wins. Vesti finished the season in fourth place, just 17.5 points off Oscar Piastri, who won the Championship.

Vesti will become just the fifth member of the Mercedes driver programme, joining current Formula 1 driver George Russell, as well as Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Paul Aron and Alex Powell.

“I am changing to ART, to evolve further as a driver and learn to work within a new environment,” Vesti said. “I’m convinced that will take me one step closer to my goal, which is to reach Formula 1. The collaboration between ART, Mercedes and me, is the beginning of an incredibly exciting journey for me.

“The thing I find most interesting about ART, is their incredible success with young drivers. ART is a tough team in the most positive sense, and they focus a lot on data and my development as a driver. What I look forward to the most is starting the teamwork and learn from skilled people that I trust will take me to my limit.

“Many thanks to Seb for deciding for me as a new team member and believing in my skills as a driver. And many thanks to Prema to taking me to where I’m today.”

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Vesti first rose to fame in the 2019 Formula Regional European Championship, taking 13 wins and 20 podiums overall in just 24 races to win the title.

Vesti joins Alex Smolyar at ART Grand Prix, following the SMP-backed Russian driver’s announcement earlier this morning.

ART Team Principal Sebastien Phillipe added: “We know Frederik very well since he was one of our most formidable opponents last season in Formula 3. He lacked a bit of success to secure the crown and we were eager to start our collaboration with him, in Barcelona during the offseason testing.

“He merged into the ART Grand Prix mold and immediately met our expectations in terms of technical feedback, reliability and speed. With Frederik, ART Grand Prix will try to win back the FIA F3 title.”