Japanese racer Marino Sato will continue with the German-based Motopark squad for a second consecutive FIA European Formula 3 Championship season, and joins the already confirmed Daniel Ticktum and Fabio Scherer.
The eighteen-year-old, Yokohama-born driver only scored a solitary point in his rookie campaign in 2017, finishing tenth in the third race of the Red Bull Ring weekend at the end of September, but is hopeful of a more competitive sophomore season.
“I’m glad to get another crack at F3 with Team Motopark,” said Sato. “I learnt a lot in 2017 and feel much more ready for the championship now.
“This is one of the key reasons why I opted for Team Motopark in the first place, and it has proved right ever since.
“The team is not only spot-on during race weekends, but more than that, they offer a great teach-and-learn scheme in-between races, be it in the factory, on the DIL or through video and data analysis, or by way of a very effective testing programme.
“I wanted to learn as much about Formula Three as I could in my maiden year, and in Team Motopark, I found the best possible teachers.”
Team boss Timo Rumpfkeil is looking for the Japanese racer to step up his performances in 2018 and become a regular visitor to the top ten, particularly due to his extensive testing programme he has undertaken since the conclusion of the 2017 season.
“We expect him in the top 10 regularly, with potential for more on various occasions,” said Rumpfkeil. “We all knew it would be a tough year but Marino learnt his lessons fast and well; the points scored in Austria show how steep and yet successful his learning curve was.
“We backed that up with an extensive testing and preparation programme in the autumn and winter of 2017; Marino will hence start next season on a much higher level.”