Carlin will expand its racing duties to encompass FIA Formula 2 from the 2018 season, with signs pointing to a link up with McLaren-backed youngster Lando Norris for a title bid next year.
Carlin raced in GP2 between 2011 and 2016 before stepping away from the category ahead of its rebranding as F2 for 2017, allowing it to focus more on its racing interests in series such as Indy Lights, where it won the title last year with Ed Jones.
The team has worked with Norris since 2015 when he won the British Formula 4 title, with their relationship yielding a maiden crown in the FIA European Formula 3 series this year.
Norris is set to move into either Super Formula or F2 for 2018, making his debut in the latter next weekend in Abu Dhabi, but looks set to line up in Carlin colors next year after its return to the category was confirmed.
In an official release issued by F2 on Thursday, it was confirmed that Carlin, Fortec Motorsports and Charouz Racing System will all join the series next year, with Russian Time and Rapax departing.
A slot has also been left ‘TBC’ amid significant interest for a 12th entry to F2 for the 2018 season.
“We’re happy to announce our line-up for next season. We have decided to remain loyal to the majority of our existing teams who know the Championship well and are strong assets to nurture young drivers,” F2 CEO Bruno Michel said.
“We are pleased to welcome Carlin, Fortec and Charouz to the grid. They will get their first taste of F2 early 2018 at the new car shakedown which date will be announced in the coming weeks.
“We have received high-quality requests from many teams who wish to join our championship. Therefore, we keep open the possibility to add a 12th team to our line-up before the end of this year.”
Carlin is also poised to expand to the Verizon IndyCar Series as well in 2018, although the team has not confirmed those intentions or rumors that have percolated over the last several months.
2018 FIA Formula 2 – Entry List
Arden International (GBR)
ART Grand Prix (FRA)
Campos Racing (ESP)
Charouz Racing System (CZE)
Fortec Motorsports (GBR)
MP Motorsport (NLD)
PREMA Racing (ITA)
Racing Engineering (ESP)