Honda protégé Nirei Fukuzumi will make his FIA Formula 2 Championship debut in 2018 alongside a campaign in the Japanese Super Formula series.

Twenty-year-old Fukuzumi (pictured above right), who claimed two Feature Race wins in last year’s GP3 Series championship and finished third in the Drivers’ Championship standings, will graduate to Formula 2 with Arden International. The Japanese driver tested for the team at the end-of-season Formula 2 test at Abu Dhabi, finishing around a second off the pace over his three days of driving.

Although his move to Formula 2 was expected, Honda’s additional decision to plug him into a Super Formula drive as well was rather more unexpected.

Fukuzumi will drive for Team Mugen, replacing the seat vacated by Pierre Gasly when the Frenchman joined Scuderia Toro Rosso late in 2017.

There are, however, two instances where the Super Formula and Formula 2 Championship calendars clash, and it remains to be confirmed which events Fukuzumi will race at.

Joining Fukuzumi on the 2018 Super Formula grid is former GP2/F2 race-winner and fellow Honda protégé Nobuhara Matsushita.

The 2014 Japanese F3 champion (pictured above left) has spent three seasons in Formula 1’s feeder championship, placing ninth, eleventh and sixth in the Drivers’ Championship standings over the 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons respectively.

Matsushita will drive for the Dandelion squad, the same team whom Stoffel Vandoorne drove for in 2016 while serving as McLaren’s reserve driver.

Image via FIA Formula 2 Championship

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.