Wheels24.co.za | Toro Rosso hand Yamamoto F1 debut for Suzuka practice

Japanese racing driver Naoki Yamamoto has been handed the chance to impress Formula 1 bosses after Toro Rosso announced on Monday that he would drive in the first practice this weekend at his home Grand Prix in Suzuka.

The 31-year-old Yamamoto, who won both Super GT and Super Formula championships in 2018, will drive the car of Pierre Gasly on Friday.

The Frenchman, who lost his Red Bull seat to Alexander Albon earlier in the season, will be back in the car for the remainder of the race weekend.

“I am delighted that I will get to drive a Formula 1 car this weekend, something which has been a dream of mine since I was a kid,” said Yamamoto in a statement released by the team.

“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.

“I’m glad I will get to share it with the fans at this amazing race track, where I first watched Formula 1 cars in action 27 years ago.”

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