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Red Bull-backed Russian driver joins F2
Energy drink giant Red Bull has placed Russian driver and international race winner Mikhail Aleshin in the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship as part of their young driver program.

Aleshin, who has been a part of the Red Bull Junior Team since 2005, joins F2 after finishing fifth in the World Series by Renault last year. The 21 year old competed in the championship for three seasons and became the first Russian driver to win a major international single seater race at Monza in 2007, beating a host of star names including Sebastien Vettel. 

The Russian drove for the Red Bull F1 team during a demonstration in Moscow last summer and has also raced in both GP2 and A1GP.

Aleshin is the second Red Bull Junior driver to be confirmed in F2, alongside Canadian Rob Wickens. A third Red Bull Junior Team driver is also set to join the championship later this month.

Mikhail Aleshin said: “It is great to be competing in F2. The return of the championship has created a lot of excitement and it is great that all the cars are equal. I know Rob Wickens really well and having seen some of the other drivers announced, I know that it is going to be highly competitive. I am confident in my ability however, and feel that I can challenge at the top. I would like to thank Red Bull for their continued support in my career."

Jonathan Palmer, Chief Executive of championship organizer MotorSport Vision, said: “This is yet another fantastic addition to Formula Two. The fact that Red Bull will be committing three of their Junior drivers to F2 shows just how seriously F1 teams are taking the championship. Mikhail is an international race winner and is well known in his homeland. I am delighted to welcome an outstanding Russian talent to the already impressive 2009 line-up."

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