Paul Aron will make his Formula 2 debut in the season finale at Yas Marina this weekend.
The Mercedes junior driver will join Trident in place of Clement Novalak.
Aron raced in Formula 3 this year, taking a single win at the Red Bull Ring but arriving at the finale with an outside chance of claiming the title thanks to his consistent points-gathering for Prema. He ended the season third in the standings behind fellow Formula 1 juniors Gabriel Bortoleto and Zak O’Sullivan.
The arrival of Aron means Mercedes will have two junior drivers competing in F2 this weekend, as their other protege Frederik Vesti is going for the title. They have already announced another junior, the highly-rated Formula Regional European champion Andrea Kimi Antonelli, will bypass Formula 3 to race in the category next year for Prema.
Last weekend Aron contested the Macau Grand Prix. He ran as high as third in the FIA F3 World Cup-awarding main race before suffering an enormous crash which caused the race to be red-flagged. He damaged two barriers and tore the rear off his car, which caught fire, but emerged unscathed and is fit to race this weekend.
“The team will make its best effort to help him gain confidence in the new category, as this will certainly be an important step for his career,” said Trident’s team manager Giacomo Ricci.
“We can’t wait to start working with Paul, who will replace Clement Novalak. As he has long been part of the Trident Motorsport family, we wish the Frenchman the best for his future endeavours.”
Novalak made his F2 debut with MP Motorsport towards the end of the 2021 season and remained with them the following year before joining Trident. He has had a largely unsuccessful season this year with a notable exception: a surprise victory in the feature race at Zandvoort.
Aron will be team mate to Roman Stanek, who was having a similar campaign to Novalak and almost fell off the grid prior to Zandvoort due to budget issues. However he found new sponsors to retain his seat for the last rounds of the season.