Red Bull has placed junior driver Juri Vips in the Japanese Super Formula championship for the 2020 season.

Vips, 19, joined the Red Bull Junior Team at the end of 2018 before racing in FIA Formula 3 full-time last year, scoring three wins en route to fourth place in the final standings.

The Estonian made a one-off appearance in Super Formula at the Suzuka season finale in October with Team Mugen, hinting at a possible move into the Japanese single-seater series for 2020.

As part of a series of announcements from Honda on its racing programmes for 2002, Team Mugen confirmed on Friday that Vips would be returning for the forthcoming season, partnering Tomoki Nojiri.

The move marks Vips out as one of Red Bull’s leading junior drivers for 2020, and continues its growing tradition of placing its youngsters in Super Formula as part of its link-up with Honda.

Vips will follow the same path taken by Pierre Gasly – who fought for the Super Formula title in 2017 prior to his move into Formula 1 – Dan Ticktum and Pato O’Ward, the latter duo having since left Red Bull’s junior ranks.

Vips currently has 32 points towards an FIA Super License required to race in F1, picked up over the last three years in ADAC Formula 4, European F3 and FIA F3. Drivers require 40 points to be eligible for a Super License.

Vips can make up the eight points with a top-four finish in Super Formula in 2020.

The new Super Formula season gets underway at Suzuka on April 5.

 

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