Nojiri, who’s a manufacturing unit driver for Honda, bought behind the wheel of the 2021 title-winning RB16B at Mobility Resort Motegi on Saturday as a part of the Sakura marque’s annual end-of-the-year celebrations.
Nojiri’s maiden run in a grand prix automobile was described by Honda as a “reward” for the 34-year-old, who gained back-to-back titles in Tremendous Formulation driving for Workforce Mugen in 2021-22.
Carrying Pink Bull’s well-known blue-and-black livery this 12 months, he was in competition for the championship till the very finish and will have clinched a 3rd consecutive crown had he not missed the Autopolis spherical in Might on account of a collapsed run.
Nojiri’s F1 run follows feedback that he could be occupied with taking over a brand new problem overseas, however he later clarified that Tremendous Formulation and Tremendous GT proceed to excite him – and he’s not satisfied whether or not any abroad class will supply him the identical degree of enjoyment.
The RB16B he drove at Motegi took Max Verstappen to his maiden F1 title following a season-long battle with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, which culminated in a dramatic – but in addition controversial – showdown in Abu Dhabi.
He’s scheduled to drive the automobile once more on Sunday as a part of the “Pink Bull Racing Honda RB16B x TEAM MUGEN SF23 Particular collaboration. This may even see Pink Bull/Honda junior Ayumu Iwasa, who will crew up with Nojiri at Mugen subsequent 12 months, finishing a number of laps of Motegi within the SF23.
Nojiri is once more set for a twin marketing campaign in Japan in 2024, coupling a drive with Mugen in SF with one other marketing campaign in Tremendous GT with ARTA.
He could have a brand new team-mate within the latter championship subsequent 12 months, amid query marks over Toshiki Oyu’s future at Honda following a turbulent marketing campaign in each collection this 12 months.