Baltas named on Super Formula entry list, set to miss Fuji

American teenager Yves Baltas has been named on the full-season entry list for the 2021 Super Formula season for B-Max Racing, but appears set to miss the opening round at Fuji.

Baltas named on Super Formula entry list, set to miss Fuji

Motorsport.com revealed last month that 19-year-old Baltas, who has limited racing experience in Euroformula Open and Formula Renault Eurocup, had been signed by B-Max to pilot its #50 car.

The move guaranteed the team's presence on the grid for 2021 after engine supplier Honda had vetoed its original choice of Nobuharu Matsushita.

Although B-Max has made no announcement, a 19-car entry list uploaded to the official Super Formula website this week appears to confirm the team will field a single car for Baltas.

However, ongoing travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic mean Baltas is unlikely to be ready for the start of the season at Fuji Speedway on April 3-4, as new visa applicants are barred from entering Japan until the current state of emergency for the Greater Tokyo area expires.

A more realistic target would be for Baltas to arrive in time for the second round of the season at Suzuka, due to take place on April 24-25.

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B-Max skipped this week's official pre-season test at Suzuka and looks highly likely to sit out the following test scheduled for March 23-24 at Fuji.

It remains to be seen if the team would field a substitute driver for the Fuji curtain-raiser in the likely event of Baltas being absent.

Kondo Racing driver Sacha Fenestraz is in a similar situation, having been stuck in Dubai for some weeks due to visa trouble.

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Toyota SUPER GT racer Yuichi Nakayama replaced Fenestraz for this week's Suzuka test and would likely race at Fuji in the Frenchman's place if required.

The other drivers that missed the Suzuka test for travel reasons, Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) and Kazuki Nakajima (TOM'S), should both be clear to race at Fuji, although Kobayashi faces a tight turnaround to serve his mandatory 14-day quarantine after racing in the Sebring 12 Hours.

Kazuto Kotaka and Giuliano Alesi substituted for Kobayashi and Nakajima respectively this week at Suzuka, with Alesi ending up fifth-fastest on Friday.

2021 Super Formula grid so far:

Engine

Team

Drivers

Toyota

Inging

Japan Sho Tsuboi

Japan Sena Sakaguchi

Rookie Racing

Japan Kazuya Oshima

KCMG

Japan Yuji Kunimoto

Japan Kamui Kobayashi

TOM’S

Japan Kazuki Nakajima

Japan Ritomo Miyata

Impul

Japan Yuhi Sekiguchi

Japan Ryo Hirakawa

Kondo Racing

Japan Kenta Yamashita

France Sacha Fenestraz*

Honda

 

 

 

 

Dandelion Racing

Japan Nirei Fukuzumi

Japan Tadasuke Makino

Team Mugen

Japan Tomoki Nojiri

Japan Hiroki Otsu

Nakajima Racing

Japan Naoki Yamamoto

Japan Toshiki Oyu

Drago Corse

Colombia Tatiana Calderon

B-Max Racing

United States Yves Baltas*

*May miss opening race due to travel restrictions

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