David Beckmann has parted ways with the Jenzer Motorsport GP3 squad, with Jannes Fittje taking his place for the remainder of the season.
GP3 rookie Beckmann has had a tough start to 2018 and sits 13th in the standings with a best result of sixth, having graduated from European Formula 3.
German driver Fittje, 18, takes his compatriot's place in Jenzer's three-car line-up alongside Sauber F1 test driver Tatiana Calderon and American Juan Manuel Correa, starting with next weekend's Hungaroring round.
Fittje finished fifth in the Euroformula Open standings in 2017 with Fortec Motorsport (pictured below), and lies ninth in the points this year with Drivex School.
Eponymous team owner Andreas Jenzer had been in contact with Fittje’s father about a proposed move into the series before Beckmann's withdrawal last week.
“I was in contact with Jannes’ dad the week before, because with the GP3 website it always shows four drivers for each team,” said Jenzer.
“He was thinking 'there’s no fourth car at Jenzer Motorsport', he called me and said can you run a fourth car?
“Because of the life of this car ending at the end of the year there would be no point to run a fourth car, and anyway the team is not structured to run four cars.
“We started to speak about Abu Dhabi end-of-season testing. The day David’s dad cancelled the contract, I gave Jannes a call and said the situation has changed.
“We found an agreement with him within one meeting sat at a table.”
Jenzer is hopeful Fittje can replicate Arjun Maini’s impressive mid-season debut with the squad in 2016, but has cautioned against expecting too much from the rookie.
“It would be nice to be on the pace straight away but I think we have to be fair to him, he has to get used to a bigger more powerful car," he continued.
“Doing [Euroformula] Open helped him so he knows most of the circuits.
“We had the same situation with Arjun Maini [in 2016] when he jumped in in the middle of the season at Silverstone and he qualified on the second row [fourth].
“We keep our fingers crossed and we’ll make it as comfortable as possible for Jannes.”
Beckmann’s plans for the remainder of 2018 are not yet clear.
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