Red Bull has announced that GP2 champion Pierre Gasly will race in the Japanese Super Formula series this season.
The Frenchman was linked to following in the footsteps of McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne by racing in Japan after missing out on a graduation to Formula 1 with Toro Rosso, and in December he told Autosport it was his "best option".
A team has not yet been specified, but it is understood he will race for Nakajima Racing.
"This a big new challenge for me and that is exactly what I love," said Gasly.
"It is all going to be very different, I have no experience with the car or the tracks and I know that the Japanese culture, philosophy, way of working, just about everything is different.
"In a way I am following what Stoffel Vandoorne did last year before going into F1.
"It is more experience to add to the GP2 campaign last year."
Red Bull also confirmed Gasly will retain his third driver role with its F1 team, working alongside race drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.
"I am also really pleased to be third driver at Red Bull Racing for another season, to work closely with Max and Daniel, gaining more experience on how the team works, how they behave at the GPs," Gasly added.
"There is a lot to learn about the new car and new regulations, it is all very valuable.
"Super Formula will help with that, a bit less power than a GP2 car so slower in a straight line but with more aero so quicker through the corners and that also relates to this year's F1 car.
"It will be very interesting to see how they all compare.
"I'm going into the Super Formula season with very little testing so it won't be easy at all, a car and six new tracks to learn.
"I'll still be based in Europe and flying backwards to Japan for the races there and my Red Bull Racing work here, it's going to be a great year."