Santino Ferrucci and Arjun Maini, the Haas F1 Team’s junior drivers, will be teammates in the Trident Racing team’s Formula 2 line-up for the 2018 season.

“Our line-up for the FIA Formula 2 Championship can count on two great drivers, on which it is certainly worth relying,” Trident team owner Maurizio Salvadori said.

“Santino and Arjun are two undoubtedly valuable prospects who have all that it takes to be among the future stars of motorsports for the years to come.

“It is certainly not by chance that an ambitious Formula 1 outfit, Team Haas, selected them to join their junior development program.”

Ferrucci’s signing confirms the American driver’s first full-time season in Formula 1’s feeder series, having contested the final 10 races of the 2017 season for the Italian squad. The Connecticut-born driver (pictured top) joined the team mid-season at the Budapest round and finished in the points on debut, and then repeated the effort at the following round’s Feature Race at Spa-Francorchamps.

Arjun Maini, Russian Time - 2017 Formula 2 Abu Dhabi test

After two strong seasons in the GP3 Series, Maini will graduate to the Formula 2 Championship with Trident Racing.

He will be joined by GP3 Series race-winner Maini, who will make his Formula 2 championship debut. After an impressive rise through the karting ranks, Maini won Force India’s ‘One in a Billion’ talent quest in 2011 before graduating to open-wheel racing in 2013.

In 2014 he competed in the BRDC Formula 4 Championship. Despite claiming eight wins and nine further podium finishes, he missed out on claiming the Drivers’ Championship title by just three points to teammate and Mercedes protégé George Russell.

He was a championship contender in the 2014-2015 Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand before graduating to the FIA European Formula 3 series, but results proved hard to come by. A move to the GP3 Series saw a return to form; he finished tenth overall in his debut part-season in 2016 and improved to ninth in 2017.

“I’m very excited to be competing in the FIA Formula 2 championship with Trident Motorsport,” he said.

“I felt we were quite competitive during the post-season test and given that the series is using all new cars for the coming season, I’m quite excited for the year ahead.

“Trident is a very strong team and I’m sure if we work hard we’ll be in for some strong results during the course of the season.”

Despite Maini’s optimism, he and teammate Ferrucci will face an uphill task to get the Trident team into regular point-scoring positions. Despite the Formula 2 championship (and its GP2 Series forebear) being a one-make category, the team finished a distant last overall in the Teams’ Championship standings.

Ferrucci and Maini’s appointments mean there are just five seats still to be confirmed for the upcoming 2018 Formula 2 season. DAMS and MP Motorsport are yet to confirm a driver, while the second seat at Campos Racing also remains unconfirmed.

2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship – Provisional Entry List
Team Drivers
Russian Time Artem Markelov Tadasuke Makino
Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing it Sean Gelael Nyck de Vries
ART Grand Prix fr Jack Aitken uk George Russell uk
MP Motorsport TBA TBA
BWT Arden International uk Maximilian Günther de Nirei Fukuzumi
Campos Vexatec Racing es Luca Ghiotto it TBA
Trident it Arjun Maini in Santino Ferrucci
Carlin uk Lando Norris Sergio Sette Câmara
Charouz Racing System cz Louis Delétraz Antonio Fuoco

Images via FIA Formula 2 Championship

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Geoff Burke

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