Trident has named its first signing for the 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship with Ferrari junior Giuliano Alesi stepping up from GP3 Series.

Alesi will graduate to F2 in 2019 after spending three years in the GP3 series with Trident. The Frenchman stays with the Trident family for his maiden season in Formula 1’s immediate junior ladder.

He is the first signing for the Italian outfit for 2019 which has had a difficult time in F2 so far. “It’s an amazing opportunity,” said Alesi. “First of all I want to thank Trident as it’s going to be a pleasure to continue racing with them in F2.

“This is a new category, a new adventure, which I’m really looking forward to. This year hasn’t quite gone as we all hoped, but I’m really looking forward to a successful season with Trident in 2019.

“We are going to work hard this winter, and try and come back as strong as possible for the season opener. The engine is completely different, and with the turbo, you have to anticipate some things, which is not the case with normal aspirated engines.

“That’s one of the key points, but managing the tyres and the car is also different. I’m happy with the first test, because I could manage to do a good lap time and finish P6 on the final day.

“It was my first experience with an F2 car, so I couldn’t put the sectors perfectly together, but in general it went well. It’s a good start, and I keep working hard.” Alesi becomes the second driver on the 2019 grid having a F1 racer as his father.

The other being Mick Schumacher, who has been already confirmed with Prema – both their fathers Jean and Michael have raced against each other in F1. The three years in GP3 for Alesi came after only one season in French F4 where he made his single-seater debut.

The 19-year-old had a difficult step up in 2016 where he finished 22nd but made a huge jump in 2017 to be fifth in the standings with three wins and a podium aside. In 2018, he finished seventh with a win and three podiums aside.

2019 F2 line-up so far:

ART Grand Prix – Nyck de Vries & Nikita Mazepin

Prema – Mick Schumacher & Sean Gelael

Carlin – Nobuharu Matsushita

UNI-Virtuosi – Guanyu Zhou & Luca Ghiotto

Trident – Giuliano Alesi