The second half of the 6 round Super Formula season starts this weekend in Autopolis and will only finish after 2 December rounds. It is going to be a chilly time for everyone and Red Bull athlete Ukyo Sasahara is now confirmed in the seat of the #15 Mugen Honda for the rest of the year. Jüri Vips was due to race but returned to Europe to drive the RB8 in order to complete the mileage for his Super Licence and will not now go back to Japan.
A disappointing effect of the Covid crisis in some respects for the 20-year-old Estonian but it gives an opportunity to Sasahara. “I will do the rest of the Super Formula season,” confirms the 24-year-old Japanese. “The aim is to figure out the car and have some good results in these three rounds, to turn things around.”
“We are trying to figure out what the problem has been in the first three rounds, particularly the issues we had at the last round in Sugo. The team discovered that some of the parts had issues and there were some things with the set-up were not right so hopefully it is fixed for this weekend.”
“The team did not find any big issues so we hope that it is this combination of smaller things that will give us a good solution. It's a concern but the only thing we can do is try and see how it goes.”
“The Autopolis circuit is old style. I drove it 3 or 4 years ago in a Formula 4 and I have won there. It is old like Sugo and is quite high with elevation changes and a real challenge. It has a complete range of corners from slow, mid and high speed so every type of corner is there. Especially the last sector is really tricky and you need to be really perfect all the way through.”
“Also tyre degradation is higher than any other circuit so that is another factor. Even in Qualifying it is difficult to put in one perfect lap. We are well into November now so I think it will be very cold for the Yokohama tyres,” he added with a chuckle. “We will see how that is going to work this weekend. Of course it is the same for everyone.”