Sauber has confirmed that Kimiya Sato will take up the role of reserve driver for this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

The 24-year-old drove for the Swiss team during the Young Driver Test at Silverstone earlier in the year and is set to take part in a straight-line test with the team in Italy next week.

Prior to that, Sato - who finished second in AutoGP this year - will act as reserve for Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez at his home event on the schedule, working alongside the F1 team throughout the race weekend.

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Sauber go into the weekend hoping to build on Hulkenberg's impressive run to fourth place in Korea, and the German said he was keen to impress again when he hits the track at Suzuka.

"I really enjoy going to Suzuka, as it is always a cool weekend and special as both a Grand Prix and a circuit," the German said. "Drivers like challenges and this is certainly a very challenging track. It is a classic track - a bit like Spa - and one that just puts a big smile on everyone's face.

"The track has two amazing corners in the Esses and 130R. In a Formula One car it is a great track to drive on, and one where you can really use the downforce and certainly feel it. It is a very high G force track, which means it is quite physical, especially on the neck.

"It goes without saying I would like to have a good result there and, after finishing seventh last year, I am going in a very optimistic mood."