Formula Renault Eurocup race-winner Charles Milesi will graduate to Super Formula this year with B-MAX Racing by Motopark.
The 18-year-old Frenchman joins the German-Japanese team, part of Honda’s SF line-up, off the back of a part-time Japanese Formula 3 campaign where he picked up five top five finishes for Okayama Team with Carlin.
His season was curtailed by a painful broken wrist that required intrusive surgery and put him out of the car for six of the 20 races.
Milesi trialled SF machinery the year before, where he was twice a winner in the Eurocup with R-ace GP, but didn’t have the budget to step up to Japan’s premier class of single-seaters as it introduced the Dallara SF19 for 2019.
He takes the place of former Red Bull junior Lucas Auer in B-MAX with Motopark’s line-up, and joins the already announced Pietro Fittipaldi.
Milesi drove for the team and ThreeBond Drago Corse in the post-season test at Suzuka last December, and was 14th fastest across the two days.
“In 2018, I tested the Dallara SF14, but the SF19 is very different,” said Milesi.
“I worked hard to get the rhythm step-by-step. The team was very nice guy and the car feels really good, it gives me confidence every time I run, I’m very happy.
“The SF19 is sharper at the corner entrance than the SF14. I felt a lot more grip in the high-speed corners, but I felt the same in terms of braking and traction, but compared to F3 it was just bigger and the engine was a turbo, so it was different.
“I’ve done everything [to train], including strengthening my neck, so I didn’t feel much trouble testing it, but of course I need to do more in the future.”
Motopark moved into Japanese racing last year with B-MAX after it wasn’t granted a team slot in FIA F3 Championship.
It dominated the Japanese F3 championship with Sacha Fenestraz, who is expected to move up to SF with Toyota-powered team Kondo Racing, and took two SF podiums with Auer and Harrison Newey after a spate of pitstop and fire-related problems.