Formula 2 driver Nobuharu Matsushita will get his first taste of Formula 1 machinery next week when he gets behind the wheel for Sauber at the in-season test in Budapest following the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Matsushita, 23, started his career in karting aged four, and competed in various single-seater championships in Asia. Since 2015, the Japanese driver has been competing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship with ART Grand Prix and is currently P7 in the rankings, with one victory in his pocket.
“When I was four years old, I was fascinated by Michael Schumacher, watching him racing in Formula 1,” said Matsushita. “Since then my dream was to become a Formula 1 driver.
“I am very excited about my first Formula 1 test and I am really looking forward to driving the Sauber C36-Ferrari at the Hungaroring – it is a great opportunity for me. I hope it will be a productive day for the team as well as for myself, so that I can learn as much as possible. I would like to thank the Sauber F1 Team for making this happen.”
Frederic Vasseur, Sauber team principal, commented: “I am pleased that Nobuharu has this great opportunity. He deserves the experience of his first test in a Formula 1 car.
"Ever since his debut in Formula 2 with ART Grand Prix, I have been following his progress closely, and have watched him advance his performance from year to year. With this Formula 1 test, he comes one step closer to his dream of becoming an F1 driver one day.”
Next week’s two-day test takes place on August 1-2. Matsushita will be in the cockpit on day two, with fellow F2 racer Gustav Malja in action on day one.