Dean Stoneman secures GP2 debut with Carlin at Sochi

Red Bull junior driver Dean Stoneman will make his GP2 debut this weekend at Sochi, joining Carlin in place of Julian Leal.

Dean Stoneman secures GP2 debut with Carlin at Sochi
Dean Stoneman, DAMS
Dean Stoneman, DAMS
Dean Stoneman
Dean Stoneman
Julian Leal, Carlin leads Johnny Cecotto, Trident
Julian Leal, Carlin

Stoneman, 25, currently competes in the Formula Renault 3.5 series with DAMS and is third in the standings with one round to go.

The 2010 Formula 2 champion, Stoneman was diagnosed with testicular cancer after his title-winning campaign but survived and made a full-time return to single-seaters in 2014, finishing runner-up in GP3.

"I’m excited; this will be a new challenge for me to get into a GP2 car," Stoneman said. "I’m not going to know what to expect really until I get out there and get a feel of the car. It’s going to be a great experience though and I’m going out to do a good job.

Sochi was the scene of Stoneman's best round in GP3 in 2014, as the Briton won the feature race from pole and just narrowly missed out on completing a double in the reverse-grid race.

"It’s nice to go back to a track I have good memories of; last year in GP3 was a great weekend for me so I’m looking forward to going there again," he added.

Stoneman replaces GP2 veteran Leal at Carlin, slotting in alongside Sean Gelael and becoming the British team's sixth different driver this season.

"It’s great to welcome Dean to the team – he is a driver who we have closely watched for many years and someone who is extremely talented," said Trevor Carlin.

"It is great to have the opportunity to work with him this weekend in the GP2 Series and he has already fitted in well with the team back at the workshop.

"We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Julian for all his contribution to the team over the course of this season."

The Carlin squad has endured a difficult season in the series so far and sits ninth in the teams' standings, having yet to score a podium finish in 2015.

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