Team Motopark has confirmed today that Marino Sato will join the team for the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. The team has already announced 2016 FIA F3 rookie champion Joel Eriksson and Keyvan Andres Soori for their 2017 line-up.
Japanese driver Sato started his career in karting in 2011. He graduated into single-seater racing in 2015 when moving up to the Italian Formula 4 championship, where he competed for two consecutive years. He won his first race in Imola last September and finished the season on 18th position in the drivers’ standings.
Team Motopark boss, Timo Rumpfkeil is excited about the new addition to his team, he commented, “We are very pleased that Marino Sato will drive with us. The first time we had a sequence of tests was at the end of 2015, and he performed really well. Since then we have stayed in constant touch. We are certain that he will deliver good results during his rookie year, since he has shown some great speed during the winter tests already. And we are honored to have a rising Japanese talent racing for us again.”
The 17-year-old Sato is equally excited and is looking forward to the new challenge. He said, “For the past two years, I had been racing in the Italian FIA F4 championship. Last December I tested with several FIA F3 teams with their F3 cars in Portugal and Spain. After having discussed things with my management and family, for 2017, I have decided to race a full season with Motopark in the FIA F3 European Championship. Doing well in the FIA F3 European Championship means that you can jump up to Formula One, but it also signifies that it is a very challenging championship. I am going to be a rookie so I know that it’s not going to be an easy task. Instead of rushing to get results, I would like to steadily gain experience and make it a positive season for my future. Now I can hardly wait for the upcoming test in March and the first race in April.”
The FIA Formula 3 European Championship season will kick off with a set of official tests at Hungaroring (24th and 25th of March) and Spielberg (28th and 29th of March). The first race meeting is scheduled at Silverstone from the 14th to the 16th of April.