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Yamamoto to take part in Japan FP1 with Toro Rosso

  • Published on 07 Oct 2019 09:34
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Super Formula driver Naoki Yamamoto will take part in the opening practice session of this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

In what is Honda's home race, the 31-year-old will get behind the wheel of the Toro Rosso STR14, with Pierre Gasly stepping aside for the session.

Yamamoto has spent time in the Toro Rosso simulator this year in order to get to know the team and the engineers that he will be working with.

Yamamoto won the Super Formula championship last season, while also emerging victorious in the Super GT category in 2018. 

Throughout his career racing in Super Formula, which began back in 2010, Yamamoto has picked up seven race victories. With one round left to run in the 2019 championship, he leads the championship by one point over Nick Cassidy.

“First of all, I would like to thank Scuderia Toro Rosso, Red Bull and of course Honda for giving me this great opportunity," Yamamoto said. 

"I am delighted that I will get to drive a Formula 1 car this weekend, something which has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. To get this chance at Suzuka, a very important circuit for all Japanese racing drivers, in front of such a big crowd of Japanese fans, will make the experience even more special

"I have prepared as well as possible for this, spending time as part of the Toro Rosso team at several Grand Prix weekends and I have also worked in the Red Bull simulator.

"My main aim in FP1 will be to do a good job for the team, gathering data and information which will be useful for them over the weekend.

"On a personal note, I want to enjoy the experience of driving an F1 car as much as possible and I will be trying my very best to get the most out of it.

"It will be a special moment and I’m glad I will get to share it with the fans at this amazing race track, where I first watched Formula 1 cars in action 27 years ago.”

Replies (5)

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  • Yeees! Best of luck Naoki!

    • + 0
    • Oct 7 2019 - 12:45
    • Kean

      Posts: 692

      I read this a few days back on another website, just waited for the news to be published here and for you to jump for joy.

      • + 0
      • Oct 7 2019 - 12:46
    • You know me too well. :3 Yes, I've been cheering for him for quite a while, Naoki's been on my radar since I started watching Super GT. He has managed to outpace most of his comrades and seem like a pretty nice bloke, so I look forward to see how he'll perform.

      • + 0
      • Oct 7 2019 - 17:27
    • Kean

      Posts: 692

      All I know of him is basically that JB thinks highly of him and his championship wins in Super GT and Super Formula. Never seen him race, but for some reason I hope to see him in Toro Rosso (Alpha Tauri) next year. It would be the first time since Bourdais that a driver with proper experience gets a chance in STR. Hope he does well on friday.

      • + 0
      • Oct 7 2019 - 19:54
    • His style of racecraft is kinda similar to Button, in that he is very consistent and skilled in wet races. His overtaking style can remind me a bit of Albon, in that he can pull off overtakes in pretty odd places. I'd say he is somewhat cautious, which has its pros and cons in F1, and he isn't the best in S-GT in quali.

      • + 0
      • Oct 8 2019 - 12:07

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