Nobuharu Matsushita is setting his sights on the GP2 Series title in 2016 after securing a second season with the title-defending ART Grand Prix team.
The Honda junior development driver made his GP2 debut in 2016 and proved competitive despite his lack of track knowledge, picking up a maiden win in Hungary and two further podiums en route to ninth in the standings.
With his title-winning team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne replaced by Sergey Sirotkin for 2016, Matsushita is hoping he will be the one to assume team leader status this year.
“I would like to thank Honda and ART Grand Prix for giving me this opportunity to continue racing in GP2 Series. ART Grand Prix won the championships last year, and I am so honored to be part of such an amazing team again.
“As a member of HFDP, Honda Formula Dream Project, aiming to be the top-world-class driver, I will give my best to win the drivers and the team championship in my second GP2 season.”
With Frederic Vasseur heading to F1 to head up the returning Renault outfit, Sebastien Philippe will take over as team principal and expects Sirotkin and Matsushita to prove a formidable partnership.
“I am truly delighted to start our third year of partnership together with Honda with this reinforcement of our collaboration. Nobuharu will partner Sergey Sirotkin in the GP2 Series. He had an incredible year in 2015 when he did not know Europe or the championship, the team and the car, but nevertheless he secured one win, several podiums and made massive improvements all year long.
“As a driver and on a personal level, we have no doubt at all that he has all the assets needed to fight for the title in 2016.”