Naoki Yamamoto will make his Formula One debut in Pierre Gasly’s Torro Rosso car in first practice for the Japanese Grand Prix on Friday. The Frenchman will return to the car for the remainder of the weekend in Suzuka but 31-year-old Yamamoto will get his first taste of Formula One action in Friday’s practice.
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He is the reigning champion in Japan’s Super Formula and Super GT series and is looking forward to driving an F1 car, saying it’s been “a dream of mine since I was a kid”, adding that he first watched F1 at Suzuka 27 years ago. “To get this chance at Suzuka, a very important circuit for all Japanese racing drivers, in front of such a big crowd of Japanese fans, will make the experience even more special,” he said.
“I have prepared as well as possible for this, spending time as part of the Toro Rosso team at several grand prix weekends, and I have also worked in the Red Bull simulator. “I want to enjoy the experience of driving an F1 car as much as possible and I will be trying my very best to get the most out of it.”