Phillip Horton  |    |   0  |  11 January 2019

Honda moves Nirei Fukuzumi and Tadasuke Makino to Super Formula

Honda has moved two of its highest-profile junior drivers into Super Formula for 2019.

The manufacturer confirmed on Friday that Tadasuke Makino and Nirei Fukuzumi will carry out joint programmes in Super Formula and Super GT.

Fukuzumi, who competed in Super Formula last year when his Formula 2 commitments allowed, will race for Dandelion, while debutant Makino will join Nakajima.

Fukuzumi moved to Europe in 2016, linking up with ART Grand Prix in GP3, and placed third in the 2017 standings with two wins to his name.

But he took only a handful of points finishes during his sole Formula 2 campaign with BWT Arden.

Makino, meanwhile, made the leap from European F3 to Formula 2 with Russian Time and took an unexpected Feature Race win in Italy, running the alternative strategy to rise from the midfield.

Honda has long eyed one of its juniors competing in Formula 1, a situation ostensibly aided by its fresh junior scheme association with Red Bull.

Its leading prospect is now Nobuharu Matsushita, who will return to Formula 2 with Carlin, and who will capture enough points for a Super Licence if he finishes in the top four of the championship standings.

Matsushita previously raced in Formula 2 from 2015 (under the series’ GP2 guise) to 2017, spending the entirety of his first stint with ART.

Honda, meanwhile, will have junior drivers in Formula 3 in the form of Teppei Natori (Carlin) and Yuki Tsunoda (Jenzer), the latter also now backed by Red Bull.

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