Carlin Signs Honda Protege Natori For 2019 F3 Campaign
Carlin has announced Honda protege Teppei Natori as its first driver signing for the 2019 FIA Formula 3 season.
Natori finished second in last year’s Japanese F4 championship, where he drove for Honda Formula Dream Project, and will make his European racing debut with Carlin at Barcelona in May.
He becomes the second Honda-affiliated driver to join F3 in 2019 after Jenzer signing Yuki Tsunoda, who beat Natori to the Japanese F4 title last year.
While Tsunoda has also been given the designation of a Red Bull junior as part of the energy drink brand’s tie-up with Honda, Natori’s affiliation is limited to Honda.
“I am very excited to be the part of Carlin Buzz Racing in the FIA Formula 3 Championship,” he said.
“There will be a lot to learn this season, but we will fight hard together for the championship with the aim of becoming an F1 driver in the future.”
Natori’s recruitment coincides with Carlin announcing Japanese investment firm Buzz as its title sponsor. As part of the deal, Carlin will ditch its familiar blue livery and adopt Buzz’s black-and-neon yellow corporate colours.
“We’re extremely proud to be carrying the Buzz name and colours on our FIA F3 race cars for the 2019 season,” team boss Trevor Carlin said. “We had a great experience working together for the 2018 Macau Grand Prix and hope this is a relationship that can continue in the future.
“We also welcome Teppei to the team for the upcoming season following what has been a strong year racing in the Japanese Formula 4 Championship.
“Teppei already knows how to fight for wins and podiums so we look forward to working together and hitting the ground running during testing ahead of the first race in May.”