Status Grand Prix has signed highly rated briton Alexander Sims to be one of its three drivers in the GP3 Series in 2011

Sims is a member of the elite Gravity Sport Management driver development programme, and is a former McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award winner. The 22-year-old arrives in the F1 support-race series after two strong seasons in Euro Series Formula 3, and off the back of his maiden F1 test with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team in November.

Status Grand Prix finished in second place in both the Driver and Teams’ Championships in the inaugural GP3 Series in 2010, with four races victories and eight podiums. Sims then tested with the Silverstone-based team last autumn at Jerez, and was consistently one of the fastest around the Spanish circuit.

Status team principal Teddy Yip said: “We are delighted that Status Grand Prix has the opportunity to work with people of the calibre of Alexander and Gravity Sport Management. Having finished second in last year’s GP3 Championship, every effort is being made to again battle for the title, and having top drivers such as Alexander in the team is a crucial part of that. He will fit in very well.”

Sims said: “I am thrilled to be racing in the GP3 Series with Status Grand Prix. Although I only spent one day testing with them, it was immediately clear that they are an extremely professional and ambitious team, and I’m really looking forward to working with them. They had a fantastic first season in GP3 and I will be working hard to give them reason to celebrate again in 2011.”

Status GP team manager Simon Cayzer added: “During Alexander’s one-day test with us he impressed immediately. He knows what he wants technically from a car to make it fast, and as a driver is confident, consistent and quick. We have every confidence that he can win the GP3 championship.”

The 2011 GP3 Series is scheduled to be run over 17 races at nine F1 Grands Prix across Europe. The season will commence with the first of three pre-season official tests at Paul Ricard HTTT on March 3-4.

Status Grand Prix will announce the rest of its GP3 Series driver line-up in the coming weeks.