Ghiotto returns to F2 to partner Mazepin at Hitech

Jack Benyon
motorsport.com

Hitech becomes the 11th team on the Formula 2 grid after being given permission to join, officially announcing its entry after months of rumour on January 21.

Ghiotto, 24, finished third in the 2019 F2 season with the Virtuosi Racing team, and after six seasons in the Formula 1 support paddocks he made his farewell, signing a deal with the R-Motorsport Aston Martin squad to contest the GT World Challenge series.

However, Ghiotto has taken the seat at Hitech which had previously been linked to McLaren test and development driver Sergio Sette Camara, who has also visited IndyCar teams in America following his DAMS F2 campaign in 2019.

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“I’m ready for this next challenge that lies ahead in the upcoming FIA Formula 2 Championship and I’m looking forward to getting back behind the wheel in a few weeks,” said Ghiotto.

“I would like to thank Hitech for giving me the opportunity to join the squad on their debut in the championship. I have my sights set on a strong season with the British-based squad.”

Mazepin – whose father Dmitry is part of the Hitech ownership structure – raced for ART Grand Prix last year in F2 after graduating from a second-place finish in the GP3 Series with the same team.

Luca Ghiotto, UNI Virtuosi Racing and Nikita Mazepin, ART Grand Prix

Luca Ghiotto, UNI Virtuosi Racing and Nikita Mazepin, ART Grand Prix <span class="copyright">Joe Portlock / Motorsport Images</span>
Luca Ghiotto, UNI Virtuosi Racing and Nikita Mazepin, ART Grand Prix Joe Portlock / Motorsport Images

Joe Portlock / Motorsport Images

Despite mid-season improvements, Mazepin finished 18th in the standings with a best finish of eighth, while his teammate Nyck de Vries won the F2 title.

“I am really happy to race with Hitech as they embark on their first season in the FIA F2 Championship – it feels great to compete in Formula 2 for another season,” said the 20-year-old Mazepin, who has tested Force India and Mercedes F1 machinery.

“I am very much looking forward to the challenge and it will undoubtedly be exciting, given the new car updates and 18-inch wheels this year.”

Hitech GP’s team principal Oliver Oakes said he wanted experience for the team’s first foray into F2, to go along with its FIA F3 programme and running the cars in the W Series.

Mazepin knows the team well after racing for it in European F3 in 2016-17, while Ghiotto has competed in both seasons of the new F2 car and first started in the F1 support paddocks in 2014 in GP3.

“As we embark on our first season in Formula 2 we were keen to secure the services of two drivers with experience,” said Oakes.

“In both Luca and Nikita I feel we have a line up which will not only with allow us to get quickly up to speed with the new car, but also to fight in the front from the offset.”

2020 F2 line-up so far:

Carlin

Yuki Tsunoda

TBA

ART Grand Prix

New Zealand
New Zealand

Marcus Armstrong
Christian Lundgaard

Denmark
Denmark

UNI-Virtuosi

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Callum Ilott

China
China

Guan Yu Zhou

DAMS

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Dan Ticktum

Indonesia
Indonesia

Sean Gelael

Prema Racing

Germany
Germany

Mick Schumacher

Russian Federation
Russian Federation

Robert Shwartzman

Charouz Racing System

Louis Deletraz

Pedro Piquet

MP Motorsport

Felipe Drugovich

TBA

HWA

Russian Federation
Russian Federation

Artem Markelov

France
France

Giuliano Alesi

Hitech GP

Italy
Italy

 Luca Ghiotto
Nikita Mazepin

Russian Federation
Russian Federation

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