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Matsushita named McLaren’s development driver

Reuters

Nobuharu Matsushita will be McLaren’s test and development driver this season, the Honda-powered Formula One team said on Saturday.

Former champion McLaren, which had its worst-ever season in 2015 and has not won a race since 2012, already has a reserve driver in Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne.

Matsushita, 22, will concentrate on work in the team’s simulator to support race drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso while also competing in the GP2 feeder series.

There are no Japanese drivers currently in Formula One.

“To step into the world of Formula One fulfils a boyhood dream, and is a huge step forward in my career,” he said.