Nigel Melker has joined champion team Tech 1 for the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 season.
Former GP3 front-runner Melker had a disappointing GP2 rookie campaign with Ocean last year, but did take a podium in a one-off FR3.5 outing with Lotus.
Tech 1 won last year's teams' championship, even though its lead driver Jules Bianchi lost the drivers' crown to Robin Frijns in a controversial final-round collision. Team boss Simon Abadie is confident that Melker will put Tech 1 in the thick of the title fight again this season.
"Tech 1 Racing has already won four titles in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012 and we're more determined than ever to add another to our laurels in 2013," said Abadie, who last took a driver to the FR3.5 title in '07, when Alvaro Parente was champion. "To achieve this, we need two top-line drivers who will be able to score a big haul of points in every race. With this aim in mind signing a driver of the calibre of Nigel Melker is really good news.
"Although he's not yet 22 he already has five seasons in single-seaters under his belt. The experience he's gained in GP2 means that he arrives with enough racing skills to be on the ball in the opening races.
"Nigel proved in GP3 and Formula 3 that he was a winner, and it's up to us to give him the equipment to do the same at this level."
2013 Formula Renault 3.5 lineup so far:
Tech 1 Racing Nigel Melker TBA
Arden Caterham TBA TBA
Fortec Motorsports Oliver Webb Stoffel Vandoorne
ISR Sergey Sirotkin TBA
Lotus TBA TBA
Carlin Jazeman Jaafar TBA
Comtec Racing TBA TBA
International Draco Racing TBA TBA
DAMS Kevin Magnussen Norman Nato
P1 Motorsport Will Stevens TBA
Pons Racing Zoel Amberg TBA
AV Formula Arthur Pic Yann Cunha