Nobuharu Matsushita will take part in his first official Formula 1 test, driving the Sauber C36 on the second day of running at Hungary next week. The Honda backed racer currently competes in Formula 2, sitting seventh in the standings with one win and a further podium.
Sauber will run with Honda engines in 2018 and Matsushita has been linked to a full-time drive next year. However, one major setback is that he is yet to acquire his super licence. Nevertheless, the 23-year-old will get a day long run in an F1 car, taking over services from Gustav Malija who will drive the car on the Tuesday.
"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.
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 Sauber for making this happen."
New Sauber team principal Fred Vasseur added: "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."