Fukuzumi announces joint F2, Super Formula programme
Honda protege Nirei Fukuzumi will dovetail his Formula 2 duties with a full season in the Japanese Super Formula series in 2018.
As revealed by Motorsport.com in November, Fukuzumi will graduate to the lead F1 support category with Arden International this year after two seasons in the GP3 series.
The Japanese driver tested for the Banbury-based squad at the post-season test in Abu Dhabi, finishing around a second adrift of the leader on all three days.
The 20-year-old scored two feature race wins at Barcelona and Jerez last season, finishing third to ART teammates George Russell and Jack Aitken in the GP3 drivers’ standings.
While a move to F2 was highly expected, Fukuzumi has also been given a surprise Super Formula drive by long-time backers Honda.
He will drive for Team Mugen, effectively taking over the place vacated by Pierre Gasly.
There are two clashes on the provisional calendars of Super Formula and F2 and it remains to be seen which series will be given priority by Honda.
Matsushita’s Super Formula drive confirmed
Honda also confirmed that Nobuharu Matsushita will switch over to Super Formula after three seasons in F2/GP2.
The 2014 Japanese F3 champion finished ninth and 11th in ‘15 and ‘16 respectively, picking up one sprint race win each year.
2017 saw a marked improvement from Matsushita, the 24-year-scoring two wins and two further podiums en route to sixth in the newly-renamed F2 championship.
However, he still fell short of his pre-season target of finishing third in the standings, which would have been enough to grant him a Super License.
At the Tokyo Auto Show, where Honda announced its Super GT line-up, the Japanese manufacturer also confirmed Matsushita’s much-touted move to Super Formula.
He will team up with Tomoki Nojiri at Dandelion, the squad for which Stoffel Vandoorne raced for in 2016.
Norris taking a risk with "unproven" Carlin
Aitken joins ART in F2, retains Renault backing