Japanese driver Nobuharu Matsushita becomes the first driver to officially sign up for the 2019 FIA Formula 2 season, agreeing to join Carlin Motorsport.
Matsushita will return to F2, having previously raced in the series in 2017 with ART Grand Prix. The Japanese driver finished that season sixth overall, his highest in the championship. He raced for three years in the series, two of which were under the former name GP2 Series being team-mates with the likes of Stoffel Vandoorne and Sergey Sirotkin.
The Honda backed driver spent 2018 racing in the Super Formula season in Japan, but after a difficult season, Matsushita will return to F2 with the newly crowned team champions Carlin.
Matsushita was spotted in the F2 paddock over the weekend, hinting over a possible return to the series and to take part in the post-season test at the Yas Marina Circuit. The Japanese driver will do so this week, completing three test days on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with the team.
“I am extremely excited to be returning to the FIA Formula 2 Championship where I feel I have unfinished business,” said Matsushita.
“Carlin have done a fantastic job this season to take the teams’ title and second in the drivers’ standings. We will be working hard from the outset this week to prepare a strong campaign for 2019.
“Thank you to Honda for their continued support and presenting me with such a great opportunity.”
In their first year back in the series, Carlin took the teams’ title with a race to spare, beating ART Grand Prix and halting the French team from capturing the double.
Trevor Carlin, team principal of Carlin Motorsport is thrilled to welcome Matsushita to the team and to welcome back Honda again to their Farnham based headquarters.
“We are thrilled to welcome Nobu to the team for the 2019 FIA F2 season,” said Carlin.
“He is an exciting driver to watch and we believe he will be a great asset to the team and He’s already a race winner in the championship so we know that together we are more than capable of providing a really strong showing next season.
“We’re extremely proud to be working with Honda again and to have been entrusted with such a promising Honda Junior driver.”