Japanese Super Formula driver Naoki Yamamoto will drive for Toro Rosso in next weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix first practice session.
Super Formula Championship leader Naoki Yamamoto will get to try out Formula 1 machinery next weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
The 31 year old Japanese driver races for Docomo Team Dandelion in Super Formula where he currently enjoys a one point lead over Nick Cassidy with one round left, also at Suzuka.
“First of all, I would like to thank Scuderia Toro Rosso, Red Bull and of course Honda for giving me this great opportunity.” said Yamamoto of the announcement.
“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.”
With Yamamoto being one of Honda’s leading lights in Japan, Katsuhide Moriyama from Honda thanked Toro Rosso and Red Bull for giving the Japanese public a chance to see the Super Formula driver on the world stage: “We are pleased that Japanese fans will now get the opportunity to see Yamamoto, a Honda supported Japanese driver at the wheel of a current F1 car at our own Suzuka circuit, as part of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend.”
“I would like to thank Toro Rosso and Red Bull for giving Yamamoto this great opportunity. We hope Naoki makes the most of this opportunity, that he learns from it and that it helps him as a racing driver. We also hope that seeing Yamamoto on track, will serve as an inspiration to young Japanese drivers, so that in the near future, we can once again have Japanese drivers competing in Formula 1.”