Aussie young gun takes next step towards Formula 1

Joey Mawson poses with his car this season.
Joey Mawson poses with his car this season.
JOEY Mawson will race in this year's GP3 Series as he tries to become the next Australian to race in Formula 1.

The 21-year-old Sydneysider will race for Arden Motorsport, the team owned by Red Bull Racing Team principal Christian Horner, in the nine-round championship which follows F1 around Europe, ending its season alongside the world Championship in Abu Dhabi in November.

"I'm very excited to be joining such a highly regarded team in Arden Motorsport for the 2018 GP3 season," Mawson said.

"To be able to race on the same schedule as Formula 1 is something that I'm thoroughly looking forward to.

"This opportunity is one that has come about pretty quickly over the past few weeks.

"I can't thank everyone that is involved with PODIUM enough, they all have a huge amount of belief in me. I'm looking forward to repaying them with success on the biggest stage in the world of motorsport."

After a dominant run the German Formula 4 title in 2016, beating Mick Schumacher in the process, Mawson graduated to the Formula 3 European Championship with the crack Van Amersfoort Racing squad, the team Max Verstappen raced for on his way to F1.

Max Verstappen was part of the Van Amersfoort Racing squad.
Max Verstappen was part of the Van Amersfoort Racing squad.

However VAR ensured a difficult season with none of its drivers cracking the top 10 in season points, Mawson salvaging a podium finish at the Nürburgring.

"Last year was very much a learning year for me. It was a tough one having come off winning the German F4 Championship and then making the big step into F3," said Mawson.

"I'm very grateful for the experience of last year and thankful to everyone who helped me. Now I'm focused on putting everything that I learnt into practice to assist me in gaining more success in 2018."

Along with its GP3 team, which took Mitch Evans and Daniil Kvyat to series titles, Arden also has a squad in Formula 2, the last stop for drivers on the ladder to F1.

It also runs Australians Oscar Piastri and Jack Doohan in Formula Renault Eurocup and British F4 respectively.

Mawson will have his first drive with the Arden squad this week as a part of the Official GP3 Test Days at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France.

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