GT Academy 2011 winner Jann Mardenborough has been signed onto Red Bull Racing's intensive driver training programme, bringing the gamer-cum-racer one step closer to his ambitions of becoming a fully-fledged Formula One driver.
Simultaneously announced alongside his new role in GP3 with the championship-winning Arden team, Jann Mardenborough will also take part in a bespoke preparation scheme – which Red Bull Racing believes will "push his [Mardenborough's] talent as far as it will go – which will ease the GT Academy champ into a potential career at the top level of single seater motorsport.
Before the chance to drive a Newey-designed Formula One car arises, the TRS Championship runner-up and podium finsher at Le Mans must prove his worth in this year's GP3 season, under the watchful eye of key personnel such as Christian Horner, the team principal of both the Arden International outfit and the Infiniti Red Bull Racing Formula One team.
Speaking to the press, Jann Mardenborough revealed that "going on initial testing, I prefer the GP3 car to an F3 car", and reiterated the point that "this season is my opportunity to impress more people in the sport who make the decisions on who makes it into F1 and who doesn’t".
Red Bull Racing's driver development manager, Andy Damerum, revealed he's "very interested to see how Jann fares on our programme and in GP3 this season and I look forward to taking him under the Infiniti Red Bull Racing wing to further progress his career. ”
Historically, Arden's exploits as a team in various Formula One feeder series has paved the way for many a driver's career into Formula One, with Vitantonio Liuzzi, Heikki Kovalainen, Bruno Senna, Sebastien Buemi, Sergio Perez, Charles Pic and most recently Daniil Kyvat all progressing to F1 drives after a tenure with Arden in Formula 3000, GP2 and GP2 spec cars.