MP Motorsport has parted ways with ex-Formula 1 driver Roberto Merhi ahead of this weekend’s FIA Formula 2 Championship round at Spa-Francorchamps. The Dutch outfit has promoted its GP3 Series racer Dorian Boccolacci into the Spaniard’s seat for the rest of the season.
Merhi’s departure comes despite a number of strong performances this season that see him lie eleventh overall in the Drivers’ Championship standings. The 27-year-old scored podium finishes at Monaco and Paul Ricard on the back of charging drives, although he was stripped of the latter result for a tyre pressure infringement.
Boccolacci will therefore graduate from the GP3 Series championship, where he currently sits seventh overall in the standings and recently celebrated victory in Race 2 at the Hungaroring.
The French youngster had taken MP Motorsport’s first GP3 Series race win of the season at Paul Ricard, however he was disqualified after his car failed to produce the minimum fuel sample required for post-scrutineering analysis thanks to a faulty fuel seal.
“I’m grasping this opportunity with both hands,” said Boccolacci. “Being promoted to F2 halfway into my second season in GP3 is a sign of confidence by MP Motorsport, a team with which I have gelled really well.”
Boccolacci becomes the second GP3 driver to graduate to Formula 2 this year, following Alessio Lorandi’s move with Trident Racing when the Italian was called up to replace Santino Ferrucci after the American was handed a four-race ban and fired by the team.
|WHO IS DORIAN BOCCOLACCI?|
|Full Name||Dorian Boccolacci|
|Born||9 September 1998, Cannes (FRA)|
|2014||French Formula 4 Championship. 21 races, 2 wins, 8 podiums, 2nd overall.|
|2015||FIA European Formula 3 Championship. Signature Team. 33 races, 19th overall.|
|2016||Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. Tech 1 Racing. 15 races, 2 wins, 7 podiums, 2nd overall.
Formula Renault 2.0 NEC. Tech 1 Racing. 15races, 1 win, 5 podiums, 3rd overall.
|2017||GP3 Series. Trident Racing. 15 races, 1 win, 3 podiums, 6th overall.|
|2018||GP3 Series. MP Motorsport. 10 races, 1 win, 1 podium, 7th overall*
FIA Formula 2 Championship. MP Motorsport*
* Denotes season in progress
Images via GP3 Series