Sam Bird will switch to the GTE-Pro class of the FIA World Endurance Championship this year, with the Englishman having landed a Ferrari factory contract in the flagship AF Corse outfit.
The 2015 WEC LMP2 champion will join Davide Rigon behind the wheel of the No. 71 Ferrari 458 GTE, following a driver shakeup within the Italian squad.
Rigon’s former co-driver, James Calado, meanwhile, moves to the No. 51 Ferrari alongside Gianmaria Bruni, with Toni Vilander departing for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Risi Competizione.
Bird has past GTE experience with the Amato Ferrari-owned team, having won the GTE-Am class pole at Le Mans in 2014, prior to his LMP2 championship-winning season with G-Drive Racing, which resulted in four class wins and four poles.
He becomes the eighth Ferrari factory driver, joining Bruni, Vilander, Rigon, Calado, Giancarlo Fisichella, Andrea Bertolini and Olivier Beretta, the latter two drivers who have yet to have full-season 2016 programs confirmed.