Sauber has confirmed Honda-backed driver Nobuharu Matsushita will test for them next week at the Hungaroring.
The 23-year-old has spent the last three years racing in Formula Two (previously GP2), taking a single win in each campaign. He won the Japanese Formula Three title in 2014 and has been supported by Honda since 2012.
Matsushita “deserves the experience of his first test in a Formula One car,” said Sauber team principal Frederic Vasseur, who was previously the team principal of Matsushita’s F2 squad ART.
“Ever since his debut in Formula Two with ART Grand Prix, I have been following his progress closely, and have watched him advance his performance from year to year.”
Matsushita will drive the team’s C36 on the second day of the test. His F2 rival Gustav Malja will drive on day one. Matsushita is seventh in the F2 standings, four places ahead of Malja.
“When I was four years old, I was fascinated by Michael Schumacher, watching him racing in Formula One,” said Matsushita. “Since then my dream was to become a Formula One driver.”
“I am very excited about my first Formula One test and I am really looking forward to driving the Sauber C36-Ferrari at the Hungaroring – it is a great opportunity for me.”
Sauber has announced a deal to use Honda engines from next season. However some confusion surrounds the arrangement following the departure of previous Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn.
Other Formula Two drivers in action at the test following next week’s Hungarian Grand Prix are championship leader Charles Leclerc, who will drive for Ferrari, and Nicholas Latifi, who will be in a Renault.
2017 F1 season
- Sepang pays Haas compensation for Grosjean’s 2017 crash
- Williams revenues rose in 2017 after Bottas deal with Mercedes
- Australian Grand Prix cost government £56 million last year
- “Grand Prix Driver” takes you inside McLaren’s nightmare final year with Honda
- Undisputed champion: 10 titles name Hamilton top driver of 2017