GP3: Josh Webster will mix with the stars of Formula One

ON THE UP: Josh Webster, pictured at the GP3 test in Estoril, Portugal, has signed for Status Grand Prix
ON THE UP: Josh Webster, pictured at the GP3 test in Estoril, Portugal, has signed for Status Grand Prix
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Rising race ace Josh Webster will be mixing with Formula One’s superstars this season after signing a deal with GP3 team Status Grand Prix.

The 19-year-old, from Mickfield, near Stowmarket, will compete on the undercard of seven F1 races at some of the best race tracks in the world, including at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit and Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

Although GP3 is only in its fourth year, former champions Esteban Gutierrez and Valtteri Bottas have already graduated to F1, with Sauber and Williams respectively.

Webster, who was testing his new 400bhp car in Estoril, Portugal, this week, said: “GP3 is a massive step-up for me and I am under no illusion about how much I have to learn, but it will be a fantastic experience and it’s great to be at the first test this week at Estoril.

“Apart from learning about the car and the European circuits, the Pirelli tyres will also take some getting used to, but I’m up for the challenge.

“Of course I hope to do well, but I am also aware of the fact that I haven’t driven at seven of the eight circuits we will be competing at this season, so this will undoubtedly be a learning year for me.”

Webster has enjoyed a memorable two years, twice finishing as runner-up of the BARC Formula Renault Championship, as well as being a finalist for the 2012 McLaren Autosport BRDC award and a part of the MSA Team UK and BRDC Rising Star talent schemes.

Nine Group will continue to support Webster and their purple and white colours, which were a feature of the youngster’s BARC Formula Renault car, will adorn his GP3 machine.

The first race of the new season will be at the Catalunya circuit, Barcelona, Spain, on the weekend of May 11 and 12 — also the fifth round of the F1 World Championship, 
featuring the likes of Sebastien 
Vettel, Fernando Alonso, 
Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.