MP Motorsport announced Dorian Boccolacci for the remainder of the 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship as a replacement to Roberto Merhi.

The former Formula 1 driver has been with the Dutch outfit since the start of the 2018 season alongside Ralph Boschung. In the eight rounds so far, Merhi has done well to be 11th with 41 points to his name.

In contrast, his teammate’s season has been marred with retirements as he sits 17th with just the 13 points. Boccolacci steps up from GP3 Series where he raced for the same team sitting seventh with 58 points – which includes a win in Hungary.

The Frenchman switched to MP Motorsport this year after making his GP3 debut with Trident in 2017 where he finished sixth with 93 points. “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. I’m looking forward to the step up in both power and downforce, and that at the most exciting track on the calendar.”

“Dorian has been outstanding in his GP3 stretch with us,” said Sander Dorsman, MP Motorsport’s team manager. “We’ve been working very well together, so we are happy to promote him to the top category in our programme.

“I’m sure he will quickly adapt to the F2 car.” The Frenchman will be replaced by former Red Bull junior driver Richard Verschoor who currently races for Josef Kaufmann Racing in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship.