Highly rated Japanese racer Marino Sato will make the move into the FIA European Formula 3 Championship in 2017, linking up with Team Motopark.
Sato moves across from the Italian Formula 4 Championship where he took one victory at Imola with Vincenzo Sospiri Racing, and completed a series of tests during the off-season in Formula 3 machinery before deciding that moving to Motopark was the best option for the next stage of his career.
“For the past two years, I had been racing in the Italian FIA F4 championship,” said Sato. “Last December I tested with several FIA F3 teams with their F3 cars in Portugal and Spain. After having discussed things with my management and family, for 2017, I have decided to race a full season with Motopark in the FIA F3 European championship.
“I would like to say thank you to the team members of Vincenzo Sospiri Racing for giving me the experience of racing single seaters and sent me off willingly to the next step, and to Team Motopark for having accepted me to race full season this year.
“Doing well in the FIA F3 European championship means that you can jump up to Formula One, but it also signifies that it is a very challenging championship. I am going to be a rookie so I know that it’s not going to be an easy task.
“Instead of rushing to get results, I would like to steadily gain experience and make it a positive season for my future. Now I can hardly wait for the upcoming test in March and the first race in April.”
Team boss Timo Rumpfkeil is happy that Sato chose Motopark over the other teams, and believes he has the ability to deliver good results to the Oschersleben-based team in 2017.
“We are very pleased that Marino Sato will drive with us,” said Rumpfkeil. “The first time we had a sequence of tests was at the end of 2015, and he performed really well. Since then we have stayed in constant touch.
“We are certain that he will deliver good results during his rookie year, since he has shown some great speed during the winter tests already. And we are honoured to have a rising Japanese talent racing for us again! We are looking forward to an exciting Formula 3 season.”