As expected, Scuderia Toro Rosso has confirmed that Super Formula and Super GT reigning champion Naoki Yamamoto will make his F1 debut this week, driving with the Faenza-based squad in FP1 on Friday.
The 31-year-old highly regarded Honda-supported driver will replace Pierre Gasly in the Japanese Grand Prix's first free practice session.
"First of all, I would like to thank Scuderia Toro Rosso, Red Bull and of course Honda for giving me this great opportunity," Yamamoto said.
"I am delighted that I will get to drive a Formula 1 car this weekend, something which has been a dream of mine since I was a kid.
"To get this chance at Suzuka, a very important circuit for all Japanese racing drivers, in front of such a big crowd of Japanese fans, will make the experience even more special.
"My main aim in FP1 will be to do a good job for the team, gathering data and information which will be useful for them over the weekend."
Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost said:
“We are very pleased to have a Japanese driver here in Suzuka driving our STR Honda, and we are sure that Naoki san will enjoy the laps in FP1 on one of the greatest race tracks in the world.
"He is a talented driver, being the reigning champion in Japan's two most important race series, and he also knows the Suzuka circuit very well.
"Naoki san has spent several European races as part of our team this year, getting to know the engineers he will work with this weekend and he has also spent time in our simulator.
"I am sure that all the fans in the grandstands will enjoy seeing a Japanese driver taking part in the Japanese Grand Prix weekend."
Watch the short video of Naoki Yamamoto confirming the good news.