Honda outlines Super Formula driver roster for 2022

Honda has revealed its roster of Super Formula drivers for 2022, confirming Nirei Fukuzumi’s anticipated move to the minnow Drago Corse team.

Championship runner-up Fukuzumi switching from title-winning outfit Dandelion Racing to Drago, which has failed to score points since returning to the grid in 2020, is the most significant change for the new season.

It follows Fukuzumi testing for the one-car Drago team last month at Suzuka, having already taken the decision to quit Dandelion by the time of the final race of 2021 at the same track.

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Taking the place of Fukuzumi at Dandelion is Hiroki Otsu, who tested for the team at Suzuka and makes the move from Mugen to partner Tadasuke Makino.

Super Formula Lights race winner Ren Sato has been given the nod to take over Otsu’s place at Mugen Team Goh, which has been spun off as a separate entity under the 'Team Goh' banner, alongside reigning champion Tomoki Nojiri.

A second car will be entered by Team Goh with a driver yet to be announced.

Nakajima Racing is the only team in the Honda stable set to go into the new season with an unchanged line-up, with Naoki Yamamoto and Toshiki Oyu both staying on.

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Otsu had been tipped for a return to Nakajima Racing when efforts were being made by Honda to secure a place on the Formula 2 grid for Oyu in the summer.

But with those efforts coming to naught, race winner Otsu was instead offered the seat at Dandelion seat vacated by Fukuzumi.

Ukyo Sasahara had been linked to a permanent Dandelion move following his two cameo outings for the team early last year, but was not part of Honda’s announcement on Friday.

As well as the second Team Goh entry, the only other spot left that Sasahara could fill is the second seat at B-Max Racing next to Nobuharu Matsushita, which was likewise listed as ‘TBA’.

B-Max is known to want to field a foreign driver in its second car, but Japan’s ongoing strict travel restrictions are likely to make this an impossibility.

Honda is therefore set to go into the 2022 Super Formula season with no non-Japanese drivers on its roster for the first time since 2013.

In Super Formula Lights, Honda will support two youngsters from its driver development programme, with Iori Kimura driving for B-Max and Kakunoshin Ota joining Toda Racing.

2022 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

France Giuliano Alesi

Japan Ritomo Miyata

Impul

Japan Yuhi Sekiguchi

Japan Ryo Hirakawa

Kondo Racing

Japan Kenta Yamashita

France Sacha Fenestraz

Honda

 

 

 

 

 

Dandelion Racing

Japan Hiroki Otsu

Japan Tadasuke Makino

Team Mugen

Japan Tomoki Nojiri

Nakajima Racing

Japan Naoki Yamamoto

Japan Toshiki Oyu

Drago Corse

Japan Nirei Fukuzumi

B-Max Racing

Japan Nobuharu Matsushita

TBA

Team Goh

Japan Ren Sato

TBA

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