Honda website
Honda website

JUNE 7, 2006

Yamamoto - an announcement soon

Sakon Yamamoto is to leave Formula Nippon and take up a role with the Super Aguri F1 team. It is not yeat clear what that role will be but it is anticipated that he will be the team's third driver for the next few races and will then step in to replace Franck Montagny, probably at the French Grand Prix. Montagny currently has a deal with Super Aguri to do the British, Canadian and US Grands Prix. Yamamoto was given an F1 superlicence a year ago in order to be the third driver for Midland and he did a good job and so there is no reason to suggest that he will not be granted a licence again. It is likely that he will be on probation for a period but with three races as the third driver he will be getting a large amount of testing before making a racing debut in France.

It is not yet clear what will happen to his with Kondo Racing in Formula Nippon and with his job with Nissan alongside Michael Krumm in the Super GT championship. There is speculation that this could lead to an opportunity for Richard Lyons, the 2004 Formula Nippon Champion, to get back into the frontline in Japan. He has been doing occasional races this year in the Australian V8 series with Team Betta Electrical.

The plans will spell bad news for Franck Montagny who may have been hoping to stay in the Super Aguri car for his home Grand Prix at Magny-Cours. Montagny is currently the only Frenchman racing in F1.