Natori takes break from racing as planned F2 move falls through

Super Formula Lights champion Teppei Natori has announced he will take a year out of racing in 2022, as a planned move to Formula 2 appears to have fallen through.

Natori takes break from racing as planned F2 move falls through
Listen to this article

Natori took to social media on Sunday evening to say he had been forced on to the sidelines by a "difference in opinion" with his management company.

This is a likely reference to financial company Buzz, which supported Natori's test outing with the Trident F2 team last month in Abu Dhabi that was seen as a precursor to a full-time drive in the Formula 1 support series.

"From November our preparations to race overseas were moving forward, and in December it was decided, but due to a difference in opinion with my management company, we have abandoned those plans," wrote Natori.

"During that time I was made a lot of offers to keep racing in Japan, but because it had already been decided that I would race overseas, I refused all of them.

"As a result, I'm now in a situation where I can't race in 2022, and I will have to give up racing for a year.

"Currently I am working daily towards the 2023 season. I'll do my best to show everyone a strong performance in 2023."

 

Natori stayed in Super Formula Lights for a second season last year after losing his status as a Honda junior, and narrowly won the drivers' title for B-Max Racing ahead of TOM'S man Giuliano Alesi.

He dovetailed that with a SUPER GT drive for Honda GT300 squad UpGarage, sharing a car with Takashi Kobayashi.

Natori had been linked to a move to the Nissan SUPER GT stable last year before it became clear he was targeting a return to Europe, having previously raced in FIA F3 in 2019 with Honda's backing.

Honda has already announced that one of its current junior drivers, Iori Kimura, will take over Natori's SF Lights drive at B-Max, while another member of its stable, Kakunoshin Ota, will fill the SUPER GT vacancy at UpGarage.

Japan will still be represented on the 2022 F2 grid by Marino Sato (Virtuosi) and Honda-backed Ayumu Iwasa (DAMS).

shares
comments

Related video

ART completes 2022 F2 line-up with Mercedes F1 junior Vesti
Previous article

ART completes 2022 F2 line-up with Mercedes F1 junior Vesti

Next article

Why F1 hopeful Daruvala faces a "make or break" F2 season

Why F1 hopeful Daruvala faces a "make or break" F2 season
Ranking the 10 best drivers from F1's junior series in 2022 Prime

Ranking the 10 best drivers from F1's junior series in 2022

The ladder to F1 never gets any less slippery. But a strong cast of Formula 3 and Formula 2 aces proved sure of foot as they continued their climbs in 2022

FIA F2
Dec 24, 2022
The next steps for Pourchaire after an F2 title miss Prime

The next steps for Pourchaire after an F2 title miss

Theo Pourchaire entered the 2022 Formula 2 season a firm favourite for the title after remaining with ART Grand Prix for a second season. But an unexpected charge from Felipe Drugovich and MP Motorsport meant the Frenchman was forced to settle for second. What went wrong for the Sauber protege, and where does he go from here?

FIA F2
Nov 17, 2022
The remarkable career turnaround of Enzo Fittipaldi Prime

The remarkable career turnaround of Enzo Fittipaldi

Sixth in the F2 standings heading into this month's final round, but within touching distance of third, Enzo Fittipaldi has quietly put together a strong first full season in the Formula 1 support series, recovering well from the scary Jeddah start crash that cut his 2021 campaign short. It marks a turn in fortunes for the Brazilian who thought he'd bid hopes of a career in Europe goodbye two years ago.

FIA F2
Nov 5, 2022
What the future holds for two Red Bull juniors fighting in the F2 battleground Prime

What the future holds for two Red Bull juniors fighting in the F2 battleground

Despite having two talented drivers, albeit at very different stages of their careers, Prema Racing has had mixed fortunes in FIA Formula 2 this year. Both drivers told Motorsport.com how they rate their seasons so far – and their next steps beyond 2022

FIA F2
Aug 24, 2022
Logan Sargeant: Carrying America's F1 hopes on his shoulders Prime

Logan Sargeant: Carrying America's F1 hopes on his shoulders

Two feature race wins in as many rounds have helped Logan Sargeant to emerge as the closest challenger to runaway Formula 2 points leader Felipe Drugovich. The Williams F1 junior couldn't have timed his rise better, with interest in grand prix racing on the rise in his US homeland, and he could be his country's best shot at getting a driver on the grid for the first time since 2015.

FIA F2
Jul 16, 2022
What racing in Australiar the future of F1's junior series Prime

What racing in Australiar the future of F1's junior series

The announcement that FIA Formula 2 and 3 would race alongside the Australian Grand Prix from 2023 came as a surprise, not only to fans but to the series’ teams too. But with Formula 1’s boom in popularity bringing more fans to the championships, team principals are relishing the opportunity

FIA F2
Jun 28, 2022
The other Doohan charting his way to motorsport success Prime

The other Doohan charting his way to motorsport success

Heading into FIA Formula 2 this season, there was a lot of pressure on Jack Doohan. The 2021 F3 runner-up joined a new team for his next challenge, as well as signing up to the Alpine Academy. He told Motorsport.com how he’s tackling the step up - with some help from his motorcycle legend father

FIA F2
Jun 16, 2022
How Drugovich plans on becoming Brazil's first F1 driver since 2017 Prime

How Drugovich plans on becoming Brazil's first F1 driver since 2017

With a chaotic but “pretty much perfect” FIA Formula 2 weekend in Saudi Arabia behind him, Felipe Drugovich now leads the drivers’ standings in his third crack at the series. The Brazilian driver reveals how he ended up back on the grid after what he thought would be his last year in the series, and shares his F1 aspirations.

FIA F2
Apr 1, 2022