MP Motorsport announced Simo Laaksonen as its first FIA Formula 3 (F3) Championship signing for the 2019 season.

Laaksonen moves from Campos Racing to MP Motorsport after spending two years with the team in Euroformula Open (2017) and GP3 Series (2018) respectively – where in the latter, he scored a podium finish in the final round at Yas Marina Circuit.

“I’m really happy to be joining MP for my first season in FIA F3,” said Laaksonen. “They were often the surprise package in GP3 last year, and I’m sure that together we are able to spring some more surprises in 2019.

“With the new F3 cars, it’s a level playing field for everyone again, so in our pre-season build-up we will be working hard to develop a front-running car.” Laaksonen is supported by the Wihuri Group, who ended its ties with Valtteri Bottas after 2018.

“We’ve kept an eye on Simo since he was among our opponents in the 2015 SMP NEZ F4 series,” said Sander Dorsman, MP Motorsport’s team manager. “He’s developed strongly ever since.

“Last year, it was good to see him grow into a front-runner in the second part of the season, and we are looking forward to using that momentum and extracting the maximum from his capabilities.”

Laaksonen is the 27th driver confirmed for the new F3 series with only two of his MP Motorsport’s teammates and one Jenzer Motorsport driver remaining to be announced to complete the set of 30 for the 2019 season.

2019 F3 line-up so far:

Prema – Marcus Armstrong, Jehan Daruvala & Robert Shwartzman

Jenzer – Yuki Tsunoda, Artem Petrov

HitechGP – Juri Vips, Leonardo Pulcini & Ye Yifei

ART – David BeckmannChristian Lundgaard & Max Fewtrell

Campos Racing – Sebastian Fernandez, Alex Peroni & Alessio Deledda

Carlin – Teppei Natori, Felipe Drugovich & Logan Sargeant

HWA Racelab: Keyvan Andres, Bent Viscaal & Jake Hughes

Charouz Racing System – Fabio Schrer, Lirim Zendeli & Raoul Hyman

Trident – Niko Kari, Pedro Piquet & Devlin Defrancesco

MP Motorsport – Simo Laaksonen