Asian Motorsport’s Marco Albertini spoke to Van Amersfoort Racing’s Hiyu Yamakoshi ahead of the second round of the Italian F4 season, as he reflected on a “very positive” first round at Misano which made his team “happy” with his driving.

By Marco Albertini

The 17-year-old driver from Tokyo achieved three top-six finishes in the first three races of the FIA Formula 4 Italian Championship season opener at the Misano Circuit. With two fourth-place finishes in the last two races, he is currently third in the championship with 32 points.

“The first round was very positive,” said Yamakoshi. “We qualified P5 and finished P4 twice. I was also faster than fellow Japanese Kean [Nakamura-Berta] and the team is happy of my driving.”

Asian Motorsport asked Yamakoshi about his thoughts heading into the second race weekend of the season at Imola.

“Imola is my favorite European track,” he said. “We did winter testing here and we feel confident about our pace here, so I think we’ll do well.”

Formula 4, racing in Europe, and driver numbers

Yamakoshi began his Formula 4 career in 2023 with Pinnacle VAR in the F4 UAE Championship. This was followed by a full-season campaign in French F4, where he achieved five podiums and two fastest laps en route to finishing fifth in the Drivers’ Championship.

He also completed in selected rounds of the F4 Spanish Championship that year, achieving six points finishes in his fourteen race starts. His most notable result was a P10 in the third race at Estoril after starting from P20 on the grid.

Yamakoshi explained the differences between the three ‘summer’ championships he competed in. “Italian F4 uses Pirelli tyres, French F4 uses the Mygale car, and Spanish F4 uses Hankook tyres and the same car as the Italian championship,” he said. “But I think this [Italian] championship is the best one for me.”

Asian Motorsport asked Yamakoshi how difficult it was for Japanese drivers to race in Europe.

“A few Japanese drivers race in Europe, like Kanato [Le], but most of my friends are in Japanese F4 and it’s really difficult because of money.”

Yamakoshi races with the number 6, and there is an interesting reason behind it.

“I actually wanted to use 66 because I used it in karting, and I was also born in 13th October 2006 at 6:06pm, but I couldn’t use 66 for Spanish F4. So I went with 6, and I carried that through the French and Italian championships.”

Yamakoshi targets FIA F3 for 2025

Asian Motorsport asked Yamakoshi what his future plans were.

“I want to do FIA Formula 3, because next year will have a new car and it’s my biggest chance as everyone will be new to the car,” he said. “I’m sure that if I get a good feeling with the car, I can win the championship.”

FIA Formula 3’s new car will be rolled out in 2025 and will be in use until the 2030 season. Described by FIA Formula 3 Chief Executive Bruno Michel as “already quite advanced in the development process,” suppliers Dallara and Mecachrome will continue to provide the chassis and engine respectively.

Lastly, Asian Motorsport asked Yamakoshi to reflect on what the best race of his Motorsport career was.

“My best race was [2023 French F4 Championship] Spa race three, where I was aggressive with Kevin Foster and we fought hard for the win.”

As Yamakoshi aims to continue his consistent form in the Italian F4 championship, Asian Motorsport will be following Hiyu’s progress closely throughout 2024.

Header photo credit: Hiyu Yamakoshi

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