Matsushita joins Sauber for Hungary test

Honda junior driver Nobuharu Matsushita will get his first taste of Formula 1 machinery with Sauber at the post-Hungarian Grand Prix test.

Matsushita joins Sauber for Hungary test
 Nobuharu Matsushita, ART Grand Prix
 Nobuharu Matsushita, ART Grand Prix
 Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C36, Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber C36
Nobuharu Matsushita, ART Grand Prix
Nobuharu Matsushita, ART Grand Prix

The F2 race winner will drive on the second day of the two-day test, taking over the car from fellow GP2 racer Gustav Malja.

Matsushita's run for Sauber comes against an intriguing backdrop, with the Swiss team evaluating what do to about its engine plans for 2018.

A deal to run Honda engines was agreed earlier this year, but it has subsequently emerged that no final contract was signed. That meant Sauber was left evaluating whether to stick with the Japanese manufacturer or look elsewhere in the wake of the departure of team boss Monisha Kaltenborn.

Matsushita's run would indicate that Honda has not been totally ruled out, although the Japanese does drive in F2 for ART, which is run by Sauber's new team principal Frederic Vasseur.

Speaking about the test, Vasseur said: "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."

Vasseur said immediately after joining Sauber earlier this month that his priority would be in sorting out what to do about the Honda situation.

 

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