Nobuharu Matsushita will return to Formula 2 with reigning champions Carlin for the 2019 season. 

The Japanese Honda-backed driver previously raced in the series for ART Grand Prix, finishing 11th in 2016 - when it was known as GP2 - before improving to sixth place in 2017, taking two victories in the sprint races in Barcelona and Hungary. 

Matsushita switched to Japan's Super Formula Championship for this year and finished 11th in the standings with the Team Dandelion Racing outfit, managing a best result of fourth at Motegi. 

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Carlin, which fielded McLaren-bound Lando Norris and Sergio Sette Camara in 2018, clinched the F2 teams' title at the Abu Dhabi finale, though Norris missed out on the drivers' crown to George Russell. 

“I am extremely excited to be returning to the FIA Formula 2 Championship where I feel I have unfinished business," Matsushita said. 

"Carlin have done a fantastic job this season to take the teams’ title and second in the drivers’ standings. 

"We will be working hard from the outset this week to prepare a strong campaign for 2019. Thank you to Honda for their continued support and presenting me with such a great opportunity.”

Carlin team principal Trevor Carlin, added: "We are thrilled to welcome Nobu to the team for the 2019 FIA F2 season.

"He is an exciting driver to watch and we believe he will be a great asset to the team and. He’s already a race winner in the championship so we know that together we are more than capable of providing a really strong showing next season. 

"We’re extremely proud to be working with Honda again and to have been entrusted with such a promising Honda Junior driver.”

Matsushita will make his on-track debut with Carlin later this week in the post-season F2 test at Yas Marina.