The Marussia F1 Team is pleased to announce the 2014 driver line-up for its GP3 entry, Marussia Manor Racing.
Ryan Cullen, 22 years and from Ireland, remains with the Team for a second season and will be joined by Finnish youngster 17 year old Patrick Kujala and British ace, 23 year old Dean Stoneman.
The Team, which is the primary vehicle for the Marussia F1 Team’s Driver Development Programme, is now in its fifth season of GP3 competition. Having won races last season, the Team is targeting the Championship title in 2014.
Ryan Cullen made strong progress last season and has good potential to surprise this coming season.
Patrick Kujala enters his second season of GP3 contention with a great deal of ambition. At the tender age of 17 Patrick proved to be a strong competitor last season and aims to demonstrate his star potential once again, boosted by even further valuable experience.
2014 will mark Dean’s full time single-seater comeback since his recovery from life-threatening cancer. The 2010 F2 Champion starred in his first F1 Test with Williams but shortly afterwards was diagnosed as being in the advanced stages of the illness. After a long battle to recovery, his remarkable comeback was sealed with a podium finish in his first GP3 race at the final round of the2013 championship. His obvious talent, coupled with incredible determination, marks him out as a strong contender for the 2014 title.
The Marussia F1 Team will again offer the most successful Marussia Manor Racing driver of the GP3 season the opportunity to test its Formula 1 car. Tio Ellinas benefited from a day in the F1 car at last season’s Young Driver Test and will again return to test in 2014 as the top placed driver in 2013.
Ryan Cullen, #15 commented: “It will be great to get back in the GP3 car after the winter break. Last season was a steep learning curve for me; I think GP3 is a pretty difficult environment in which to learn, but I felt I had made a real step forward towards the end of last year. I head into my second season of GP3 with a lot of confidence, and committed to my task of delivering for both myself and the team. I have prepared well and am ready for the challenge that GP3 2014 brings..”
Patrick Kujala, #14 said: “I am very much looking forward to my second season in GP3 and I am delighted to be joining Marussia Manor Racing. The Team is new to me but their cars and the series are familiar. I visit the Team this week to prepare my seat and to get to know the engineers. From there we head to Estoril to begin testing and frankly I can’t wait to get started.”
Dean Stoneman #16 commented: “It has taken us a while to find the right team, but I think we have now established the best balance of support, professionalism and expertise to give me a strong chance of fighting for the championship this season. Manor has a long history of success at this level and of course the connection to the Marussia F1 Team is obviously exciting. I can’t wait to get to the first test in Portugal later this month and start preparing for my full first season back in single seaters for over three years.”
Pete Sliwinski, Team Principal said: “Once again we head into the GP3 season with great optimism. This series is the best place for a young driver to prove themselves; highly competitive, with a great car and engine package and running alongside the F1 schedule, which certainly puts their talent in the spotlight. We are delighted to have Ryan back in the Team for a second season and it’s great to welcome Patrick and Dean to the fold as they are both highly motivated talented young drivers.”
Marussia Manor Racing F1 Team Press Release