Home Featured Niko Kari steps up to F2 for final two rounds of 2018 with MP Motorsport

Niko Kari steps up to F2 for final two rounds of 2018 with MP Motorsport

by Peter Allen

Photo: Joe Portlock / GP3 Series Media Service

Niko Kari will step up to Formula 2 with MP Motorsport for the season-closing rounds in Sochi and Abu Dhabi, replacing Ralph Boschung.

Kari is the second driver that MP has promoted from GP3 to F2 this year; he will partner Dorian Boccolacci, who made the same move to replace Roberto Merhi at Spa-Francorchamps, and scored points in the last race at Monza.

?I?m really happy that MP has had the confidence to promote me to their Formula 2 team,? said Kari.

?The new F2 cars have looked fantastic this season, and I can?t wait to step into one of them myself. I?m also looking forward to working with Dorian again, with whom I had a great working relationship during our time as GP3 team mates.?

Kari is 16th in the GP3 standings, having scored his best finish of sixth in the opening round at Barcelona.

After winning the Formula 4 North European Zone title in 2015, the Finn raced as a Red Bull Junior for the next two seasons, when he finished 10th in European Formula 3 and then GP3, winning a race on both occasions.

?Niko has been a bit unlucky in his second GP3 season with us, but he has always shown his raw pace,? said MP team boss Sander Dorsman.

“We are confident that he will quickly convert that pace into results in the final few Formula 2 races of the season. With two young hotshoes in our F2 cars, we are aiming to surprise a fair few people in the category in the two remaining weekends at Sochi and Abu Dhabi.”

Boschung has parted company with MP while sitting 17th in the standings, having scored in seven races so far.

The team has yet to name a new driver for Kari’s GP3 car, but should it continue its approach of promoting from within, there could be another chance for its Formula Renault Eurocup star Christian Lundgaard.

Renault junior Lundgaard, who made his GP3 debut with the team at Paul Ricard, suffered a huge blow to his Eurocup title hopes when he retired from both races last weekend at Hockenheim due to a puncture and driveshaft failure respectively.