Honda F1 junior Matsushita to return to F2 in 2019 with Carlin

Honda Formula 1 junior Nobuharu Matsushita will return to Formula 2 in 2019 with Carlin after a year in Super Formula

Honda F1 junior Matsushita to return to F2 in 2019 with Carlin

Matsushita was nurtured by Honda to become the first Japanese F1 driver since Kamui Kobayashi and spent three years in GP2 then F2 from 2015-17 to prepare for such a move.

But he failed to score enough points to secure a superlicence, earning a best championship finish of sixth last year with the ART Grand Prix team.

That prompted Honda to place him at Stoffel Vandoorne's former team, Dandelion, in Super Formula, where he finished as the highest-placed rookie and 11th overall in the championship.

But Matsushita has now been given Honda's blessing to return to F2 next year with Carlin.

The 25-year-old hinted at a return to F2 earlier this month, telling Autosport he was negotiating with Honda and the chances of striking a deal were "50%".

Matsushita will drive for Carlin, which fielded 2019 McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris and Sergio Sette Camara this year, in the post-season F2 test in Abu Dhabi this week. Autosport understands Louis Deletraz will also test for the team.

Matsushita's return to F2 coincides with Nirei Fukuzumi and Tadasuke Makino moving full-time to Super Formula after a season in the F1 support series.

Honda has also placed another of its junior drivers, 18-year-old Yuki Tsunoda, into the new FIA Formula 3 series that replaces GP3 on the F1 support bill next season.

Tsunoda won Japanese F4 this year and will contest his first season of racing in Europe with Jenzer.

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Series FIA F2
Drivers Nobuharu Matsushita
Teams Carlin
Author Rachit Thukral
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