Nobuharu Matsushita: “It felt amazing – I learned a lot today”

Nobuharu Matsushita - Sauber F1 Team - Hungary Test Day 2. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Nobuharu Matsushita completed 121 laps for the Sauber F1 Team at the second day of testing in Hungary, posting a fastest lap of 1:21.998 on the super-soft tyre; as he got his first ever taste of driving a F1 machine.

The FIA Formula 2 Championship driver really relished the opportunity of driving a F1 car, and described the experience as “amazing”.

“It was a very interesting day for me. I completed 121 laps in total, which is the furthest distance I have ever covered in one day in a formula car.

“It felt amazing – the car had much more down-force than what I am used to in Formula 2, and the possibility of braking so late into the corners was a great sensation.”

The Japanese driver completed a programme of aerodynamic tests during the morning and mechanical tests in the afternoon, behind the wheel of the C36, and said he could realty feel the difference between the F1 car and his F2 machine.

It was a big change for Matsushita, who is a Honda backed driver, currently competing for ART Grand Prix in the F2 championship and sits sixth in the overall standings, with two wins to his name so far. That includes victory in the latest round of the campaign in Budapest, where a stunning start saw the Japanese driver go on to smoke the rest of the field, crossing the line four seconds ahead of the second placed driver.

As a McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team test and development driver, big things are expected of the 23-year-old, who felt the test in Hungary really helped with his learning curve and hopes he can put that information to good use as he continues to progress through the ranks of motorsport

“Overall, the processes within the team were on a very high level. I learned a lot today, and I am very happy to have had the chance to participate at this in-season test.”