Alpine junior and reigning FIA Formula 3 champion Victor Martins has secured the budget to step up to Formula 2 for 2023.
The 21-year-old Frenchman will race for ART Grand Prix, the team he won the 2020 Formula Renault Eurocup title and 2022 FIA F3 title with and who he drove for in last November’s post-season F2 test.
After becoming F3 champion, Martins’ next step looked uncertain as at that point he lacked the funding required for a F2 seat. He has since achieved that, although it is not clear how much Alpine has supported him in that, and he will be team-mate to third-year driver Theo Pourchaire.
“The 2023 season will be exciting and motivating,” said Martins. “After a successful year with ART GP, I was not considering taking the next step with any other team. I can’t wait to discover the F2 championship, which is tough and competitive, with such a professional and experienced team.
“The tests made it possible to remove what little doubts I might have had about my adaptation because I felt comfortable and confident. My objective will therefore be to do everything possible to win the title in my first year. With ART GP, I have all the tools to have big ambitions.”
Martins topped the morning session on the final day of F2 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, with the test marking his first expeience in an F2 car.
Earlier in his career he was French Formula 4 runner-up, and had two winning seasons in the Eurocup with Renault’s support before his title-winning campaign.
“Taking up the challenge of F2 in 2023 with Victor is a logical continuation after an intense year which concluded with the first ART GP title in the modern era of F3,” said ART GP president Sebastien Philippe.
“Victor made enormous progress in 2022 and has proven that in both difficult personal and sporting conditions, he has the mental strength and the talent to achieve great things at the highest level of motorsport. The Abu Dhabi tests confirmed his ability to adapt quickly and well to his new single-seater. His determination, his enthusiasm and his conquering spirit will be weapons in a championship where competition is fierce.”