AlphaTauri have announced that Marino Sato will drive their second car in the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi as part of an all Japanese lineup.
Having made his debut in Formula Two mid-way through 2019 season with Campos, Sato switched to Trident for 2020 campaign, where he managed a 22nd placed finish in the standings after scoring just one point after finishing eighth in Mugello Sprint Race.
Speaking on his first opportunity to taste a F1 car for the first time in Abu Dhabi, Sato said; “I am extremely happy to be given this opportunity from AlphaTauri to drive an F1 car.”
Sato however has one particular focus in terms of adapting to the car in advance of potential future opportunities , saying; “We will try to do as many laps as possible to get used to the car quickly and to learn maximum out of it for whatever it comes in future.”
AlphaTauri Team Principal, Franz Tost is “pleased” to have Sato on board after he had done “a solid job throughout the season in F2 this year,” to merit a run out in a F1 car.
Tost though believes that Sato’s results this season has masked his potential, saying; “We are convinced he can do a good job as he is a skilled driver.
“The plan for the test is simple, getting him to do as many laps as possible to give him a good feeling for an F1 car. This test will be very useful, both for us and for Marino and we will do our best to help him understand how an F1 team operates in all its different aspects.”
It is however hoped by Tost that this experience will benefit Sato going forward into the future with the 64 year-old commenting; “In addition, from a technical point of view he will certainly learn something from which he will benefit next year, when he continues in the F2 Championship.
“I think this is a very good preparation for his future and it’s a pleasure to be part of his development towards what we hope will be a very successful career.”
Sato will be joined at AlphaTauri for the Young Driver Test on 15 December by Japanese compatriot, Yuki Tsunoda whose participation was confirmed yesterday.