Marino Sato will join fellow Formula 2 racer Yuki Tsunoda to form an all-Japanese line-up for AlphaTauri in next week’s Formula 1 young driver test in Abu Dhabi.
Sato raced for Trident in his first full season of F2 this year, scoring a solitary point when he finished eighth in the Mugello sprint race.
In 2019 he won the Euroformula title – winning races against Red Bull juniors Tsunoda and Liam Lawson – following two seasons in the FIA’s European Formula 3 championship.
“I am extremely happy to be given this opportunity from AlphaTauri to drive an F1 car,” Sato said.
“We will try to do as many laps as possible to get used to the car quickly and to learn the maximum out of it for whatever comes in the future. Obviously to be driving an F1 car is the dream of every racing driver, for sure I will enjoy a lot around Abu Dhabi.”
Sato is currently in Bahrain, continuing to test for the Trident F2 team ahead of a likely continuation with the team in 2021.
“We are pleased to have Marino Sato on board for the test because he did a solid job throughout the season in F2 this year, so he deserves a run in Formula 1,” said AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost. “We are convinced he can do a good job as he is a skilled driver.
“The plan for the test is simple, getting him to do as many laps as possible to give him a good feeling for an F1 car. This test will be very useful, both for us and for Marino and we will do our best to help him understand how an F1 team operates in all its different aspects.
“In addition, from a technical point of view he will certainly learn something from which he will benefit next year, when he will continue in the F2 championship. I think this is a very good preparation for his future and it’s a pleasure to be part of his development towards what we hope will be a very successful career.”
By taking part in an official F1 test, Sato will follow his namesake Kimiya Sato, who drove for Sauber at Silverstone in 2013. Both drivers have been mentored by ex-F1 backmarker Taki Inoue. Neither are related to one-time podium finisher and double Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato.