Super Formula test offers more Honda 2022 line-up clues

Honda's plans for its 2022 Super Formula line-ups have become clearer with the unofficial revelation of which drivers will participate for which teams in this week's post-season test at Suzuka.

Super Formula test offers more Honda 2022 line-up clues

Last week, series organisers released a list of drivers that will participate in the three-day test, which starts on Tuesday, but unusually without specifying which team they will be driving for.

However, on the eve of test it has become clear which teams each driver will be in action for, with Toyota having already confirmed its full driver line-up for the 2022 campaign.

The only change is Giuliano Alesi landing a full-time seat at TOM'S in place of Kazuki Nakajima, who is retiring from racing altogether to take up a management role with Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe.

Nakajima however was named on last week's driver list and will get some running this week sharing Rookie Racing's sole entry with the team's regular driver Kazuya Oshima.

KCMG has also confirmed that Atsushi Miyake will share a car with Yuji Kunimoto for the first two days of the test before driving alone on the third day, which is reserved for rookie drivers.

In the Honda camp, one of the main changes from the 2021 line-up is series runner-up Nirei Fukuzumi moving from Dandelion Racing to the one-car Drago Corse team, replacing Tatiana Calderon.

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Fukuzumi's place at Dandelion alongside Tadasuke Makino is taken for this test by Hiroki Otsu, who moves across from Team Mugen.

Super Formula Lights graduate Ren Sato takes over Otsu's spot at Mugen next to 2021 champion Tomoki Nojiri, despite the backlash that followed his involvement in the incident at Fuji Speedway that cost Honda's Naoki Yamamoto the SUPER GT title.

Toshiki Oyu remains at Nakajima Racing alongside Yamamoto for now despite having been linked to a move elsewhere for the 2022 campaign, while Ukyo Sasahara remains a notable absentee from the test line-up.

Nobuharu Matsushita is however expected to participate with B-Max despite not being named on last week's driver list.

Super Formula Lights testing took place on Monday at Suzuka, with TOM'S driver Kazuko Kotaka setting the pace across the two sessions ahead of Honda junior Kakunoshin Ota for B-Max.

Ota was one of three Honda Japanese F4 graduates in action on Monday alongside Iori Kimura and Shun Koide, who were fourth- and fifth-fastest respectively behind B-Max's Matsushita.

Kimura and Koide both spent one session each driving for Toda Racing and B-Max, with both setting their fastest times driving for the latter team, while Ota spent the entire day with B-Max.

UPDATE: The official entry list was unveiled on Tuesday morning at Suzuka. Nojiri is entered in both Mugen cars, while Hibiki Taira will drive for Rookie Racing in Thursday morning's rookie-only sessions.

Sato and Miyake are the only others set to be in action on Thursday, which is reserved for drivers who have made three Super Formula starts or fewer.

Suzuka test entry list (December 7-9):

Team/Engine No. Driver
Nakajima Racing/Honda 1

Japan Naoki Yamamoto

64

Japan Toshiki Oyu

Kondo Racing/Toyota 3 Japan Kenta Yamashita
4 France Sacha Fenestraz
Dandelion Racing/Honda 5 Japan Tadasuke Makino
6 Japan Hiroki Otsu
KCMG/Toyota 7

Japan Kamui Kobayashi

18

Japan Yuji Kunimoto

Japan Atsushi Miyake

Drago Corse/Honda 12 Japan Nirei Fukuzumi
Rookie Racing/Toyota 14

Japan Kazuya Oshima

Japan Kazuki Nakajima

Japan Hibiki Taira*

Mugen/Honda 15

Japan Ren Sato

Japan Tomoki Nojiri

16

Japan Tomoki Nojiri

Impul/Toyota 19

Japan Yuhi Sekiguchi

20

Japan Ryo Hirakawa

TOM'S/Toyota 36

France Giuliano Alesi

37

Japan Ritomo Miyata

Inging/Toyota 38

Japan Sho Tsuboi

39

Japan Sena Sakaguchi

B-Max Racing/Honda 50

Japan Nobuharu Matsushita

* Only running on Thursday

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