Japanese youngster Tadasuke Makino is set to race for Prema Powerteam in the European Formula 3 championship next season, Motorsport.com has learned.
The 17-year-old will occupy one of the Italian squad’s four seats with the blessing of Honda, which is understood to be keen on fast-tracking Makino up the European single-seater ladder.
Racing for the Toda squad, Makino finished fifth in this year’s All-Japan F3 championship, having taken runner-up in the national Formula 4 series in 2015, his first year out of karts.
He has also raced in the Japan-based Super GT series, taking GT300 class pole on his series debut at Suzuka and then finishing second in a Honda NSX shared with Hideki Mutoh on his debut GT500 class outing in Thailand.
Makino will test for Prema next week at the Nurburgring alongside Mick Schumacher, who has been strongly tipped for a seat with the Italian squad.
Meanwhile, Honda will continue its backing of Nobuharu Matsushita and Nirei Fukuzumi, currently competing in GP2 and GP3 respectively, next season. Both are expected to remain with the ART squad.
Additional reporting by Kunihiko Akai