Macau Grand Prix pole position qualifier George Russell is to switch to the GP3 Series in 2017 along with an expected role within the Mercedes Formula 1 team.
Sources suggest that the 18-year-old Briton has already begun a program as a development driver at Mercedes.
Russell, who finished third in the Formula 3 European Championship this season, is tipped to join top GP3 squad ART Grand Prix.
“I’m going to Abu Dhabi on Thursday for the grand prix [supported by GP3], and I’ve got some meetings with people over the course of the weekend,” Russell told Autosport.
“It’s looking 100 percent that I’ll be racing GP3 next year – it seems like the right move for my career and what people around me think is best for me. We haven’t decided on the team yet, but we’ll see a bit more over the Abu Dhabi weekend.”
Russell’s fellow F3 European Championship race winner Anthoine Hubert is also expected to join ART as his teammate in GP3 next season.
The Frenchman, who was eighth in the F3 points in his rookie season, said: “At the moment I’m going to test in GP3 in Abu Dhabi and at the end we’ll make our decision for next season.
“It’s quite a good situation because I have some good opportunities, especially compared to last winter, where I didn’t know what I was going to do until very late.”