Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Australian GP
12 Mar
-
15 Mar
Next event in
53 days
19 Mar
-
22 Mar
Next event in
60 days
02 Apr
-
05 Apr
Next event in
74 days
16 Apr
-
19 Apr
Next event in
88 days
30 Apr
-
03 May
Next event in
102 days
07 May
-
10 May
Next event in
109 days
21 May
-
24 May
Next event in
123 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
04 Jun
-
07 Jun
Next event in
137 days
11 Jun
-
14 Jun
Next event in
144 days
25 Jun
-
28 Jun
Next event in
158 days
02 Jul
-
05 Jul
Next event in
165 days
16 Jul
-
19 Jul
Next event in
179 days
R
Hungarian GP
30 Jul
-
02 Aug
Next event in
193 days
27 Aug
-
30 Aug
Next event in
221 days
03 Sep
-
06 Sep
Next event in
228 days
R
Singapore GP
17 Sep
-
20 Sep
Next event in
242 days
24 Sep
-
27 Sep
Next event in
249 days
08 Oct
-
11 Oct
Next event in
263 days
R
United States GP
22 Oct
-
25 Oct
Next event in
277 days
29 Oct
-
01 Nov
Next event in
284 days
R
Brazilian GP
12 Nov
-
15 Nov
Next event in
298 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
26 Nov
-
29 Nov
Next event in
312 days

Yamamoto could land Red Bull F1 role in 2020

shares
comments
Yamamoto could land Red Bull F1 role in 2020
By:
Dec 16, 2019, 11:51 AM

Red Bull and Honda have had discussions about a potential Formula 1 role for Naoki Yamamoto next season.

Two-time Japanese Super Formula champion Yamamoto made his F1 debut earlier this year, driving a Toro Rosso in the first practice session at the Japanese Grand Prix so Honda could field its own driver at its home race.

It also allowed both parties to evaluate Yamamoto's performance in a grand prix car, and the 31-year-old's impressive debut and his eligibility for a superlicence has made it possible for him to take on a role next season, although it is not clear if this would be for both Red Bull teams or something specific to Toro Rosso.

Honda's F1 managing director Masashi Yamamoto told Motorsport.com: "We confirm that we are having conversations about him with Red Bull and Helmut Marko.

"We have quite a good offer, but this is not only Honda's decision or the team's decision, we have to speak to Naoki himself as well of course.

"He's participating in different series as well. It's still ongoing."

Read Also:

Honda has waited more than a decade for one of its drivers to race in F1, with Takuma Sato the last in 2008.

The junior drivers Honda has placed in Formula 2 in recent years have not achieved the required results to step up to F1, but the manufacturer still sees value in establishing an opportunity with Red Bull for the best members of its driver programme.

"Of course it is a very good thing for Honda to make a base for future Japanese young drivers," said Masashi Yamamoto. "It's going to give a good influence to current young drivers we have, and other Japanese drivers."

Formula 3 race winner Yuki Tsunoda, tipped for a move to Formula 2 next season, is Honda's brightest prospect on the F1 ladder.

The 19-year-old scored one victory and finished in the top 10 in the new FIA F3 championship in his first season racing in Europe.

Tsunoda is much younger than more established Honda drivers like F2 race winner Nobuharu Matsushita, who still does not have enough points for a superlicence after four years at F2/GP2 level and a year in Super Formula.

Masashi Yamamoto admitted it is "really, really difficult" for Honda's proteges to prove themselves good enough to be in F1 because of the various skills required.

He believes Super Formula ace Yamamoto, Matsushita and "maybe" Tsunoda have the abilities needed to succeed in F1, but while ex-F2 drivers Tadasuke Makino and Nirei Fukuzumi are "really quick and very talented" they are unlikely to return to the F1 ladder in the short-term.

"Of course, the driving skill or speed is needed, but it's not only about that," said Masashi Yamamoto.

"If you see Jenson Button, he's quick, but also his personality, the way he reacts to fans and also the media as well, and also the team relationship, dealing with people. Those aspects are really important."

Next article
Is there value in crossovers like Hamilton/Rossi?

Previous article

Is there value in crossovers like Hamilton/Rossi?

Next article

Verstappen rules out partnering Leclerc at Ferrari

Verstappen rules out partnering Leclerc at Ferrari
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Naoki Yamamoto
Teams Red Bull Racing Shop Now
Author Scott Mitchell