Trident have announced that Marino Sato will remain with the team for the 2021 Formula Two season, where he will be joined by Bent Viscaal who graduates from Formula Three.
Sato will race in F2 for a third consecutive season having made his debut midway through the 2019 season for Campos at Spa Francorchamps, Belgium, before joining Trident last season where he scored just one point in Mugello Sprint Race en route to 22nd in the drivers standings overall.
Speaking on his decision to stay in F2 with Trident, Sato said: “I’m really looking forward to continue our journey together with team Trident. We had a very tough season last year but we were improving race by race.”
Trident Team Principal, Giacomo Ricci is ‘proud’ to retain Sato for a second consecutive season and described 2020 as a ‘positive experience’ for the 21 year-old who drove for AlphaTauri in F1’s post-season test at Abu Dhabi in December.
Speaking on Sato’s development, Ricci said: “…, Sato showed remarkable progress that makes us confident in his potential ahead of the new season, which will start at the end of March at Al Sakhir.”
2021 sees F2 introduce a new race weekend format which Ricci feels could benefit Sato’s development, saying: “I strongly believe that the new format of the series, featuring three races with reverse grids, will enable Marino to cruise to the points zone repeatedly and continue his growth in the FIA F2 Championship.”
Sato will be joined at Trident by Dutch rookie, Bent Viscaal who graduates into F2 following a impressive maiden F3 maiden for MP Motorsport, in which he took victory at the second Silverstone Sprint Race in a dramatic conclusion ahead of Trident’s Lirim Zendeli, who has also stepped up to F2 but with MP Motorsport instead this season.
Speaking on his move to the Italian team, Viscaal said: “I will be on-track for collective pre-season testing in just about two weeks, and I am really excited! We did great preparation work.”
Viscaal also noted Trident’s quality and is excited to finally drive for the team, saying: “I have been aware of the value of Trident Motorsport for quite some time, and it’s finally time to work together. I am sure that we will achieve great results.”
Ricci meanwhile is ‘greatly satisfied’ to confirm Viscaal’s graduation after testing for the team last December in Bahrain at F2’s post-season test, commenting: “We had Bent with us for one day of testing last December in Bahrain, and we had the chance to appreciate his speed skills multiple times.
Viscaal’s F3 win at Silverstone last August has however not been forgotten by the Italian team with Ricci feeling that the pair can push for success together, saying: “We are convinced we will be able to reach great results together, and we will provide him with our best support to help him to find his fit with our family as quickly as possible.”
Trident’s double announcement now means that MP Motorsport are the only team with an incomplete driver lineup ahead of pre-season testing, which commences in Bahrain next week.