ART Grand Prix has announced that the suspended Nobuharu Matsushita’s seat will be filled for the Austrian Grand Prix by local driver René Binder.
Matsushita was ordered to sit out the Austrian event after being found guilty of erratic driving on the restart of the Sprint Race of the Grand Prix of Europe in Azerbaijan a fortnight ago.
Binder – the nephew of former Grand Prix driver Hans Binder – previously raced in the GP2 Series between 2012 and 2015 will take time off from his Formula V8 3.5 commitments to compete in the series in which he has a best finish of sixth, dating back to the Monaco Grand Prix in 2013. He will be looking to prove his worth as he will finally get his chance with a top team.
“First of all, I want to thank ART Grand Prix for this great opportunity to drive their car at my home race in Spielberg,” said Binder.
“I like GP2 but I still have some unfinished business with it so I always said that if there was a chance to get a drive with a top team I would not hesitate to take the challenge.
“Of course, it will take a few laps to get the feeling for the car and for the Pirelli tyres again.
“However, I am sure that I will get the best possible support from [a] team who is, without any doubt, among the most successful race teams in Europe.”
ART team boss Sébastien Philippe welcomed the Austrian to the team: “We are really happy to welcome René in the team and to offer him the opportunity to drive at his home race this weekend.
“We will do our best to get the best possible result in Spielberg.”
Matsushita, in the meantime has vowed to come back stronger after admitting his errors on social media.
“I led both races at the front and perhaps my feeling that I wanted to win the races made me impatient,” Matsushita posted.
“I can’t compete at the next race due to the penalty, but [the following round at] Silverstone is coming soon. I’ll try to do my best. I’ll be stronger.”
|Full Name||René Binder|
|Born||1 January 1992, Innsbruck (AUT)|
|2007||Karting, German Junior Championship, 3rd overall|
|2008||Karting, German Challenger Championship, 2nd overall|
|2009||ADAC Formel Masters, Team Abt Sportsline, 16 races, 3 podiums, 7th overall|
|2010||ATS Formul 3 Cup, Motopark Academy, 18 races, 1 podium, 12th overall|
|2011||ATS Formel 3 Cup, Jo Zeller Racing, 16 races, 1 podium, 8th overall
FIA Formula 2 Championship, MotorSport Vision, 2 races, 28th overall
|2012||ATS Formel 3 Cup, Van Amersfoort Racing, 27 races, 3 wins, 7 podiums, 6th overall
GP2 Series, Venezuela GP Lazarus, 6 races, 31st overall
|2013||GP2 Series, Venezuela GP Lazarus, 21 races, 23rd overall|
|2014||GP2 Series, Arden International, 22 races, 25th overall|
|2015||GP2 Series, Trident / MP Motorsport, 17 races, 22nd overall
Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Pons Racing, 2 races, 22nd overall
|2016||Formula V8 3.5 Series, Lotus, 8 races, 2 podiums, 4th overall*|
Images via GP2 Series Media