Vidales, Fraga targeting Super Formula drives for 2024

Vidales and Fraga, who both raced for B-Max in the secondary category this year, are known to be targeting a limited number of seats in Super Formula open to drivers not affiliated with either Honda or Toyota.

Spanish driver Vidales made the move to Japan this season from FIA F3, but suffered a disappointing season that culminated in from withdrawing from all three races in last weekend’s Motegi finale amid concerns about the behaviour of his car.

“It was the only choice after Thursday and Friday practice,” Vidales told “We already had some problems all year, but especially last time at Okayama, and we hoped this weekend we could solve those after reviewing the car at the factory. 

“But when we went on track, the problems were still there, and there were some other problems that made the car feel unsafe to drive. It didn’t make sense to go into qualifying and risk a crash.”

Vidales concluded the season ninth in the standings with a single podium finish at Okayama.

“In terms of results, this year has been very far away from what I was expecting,” he reflected. “We have been far away, not even close to being able to fight for something. 

“I was one of the fastest in pre-season testing, but after that things started to get worse, and I was sometimes not even within a second of the top guys. You can feel if you did a good lap or not, so there must be something wrong when you are one second off.”

Vidales has ruled out staying in Lights, and is known to have held discussions with multiple Super Formula teams about a step up to the main category for 2024.

The 21-year-old, who is managed by the same Monaco Increase Management stable that previously oversaw Alex Palou’s career, is now waiting to hear if he will be able to participate in the post-season test at Suzuka on December 6-8.

“It’s my goal to be there in the rookie test, and hopefully I can get a chance that at least allows me to show my potential and qualities, and race there next year,” he said. 

“Doing another year in Super Formula Lights is not going to happen, that’s for sure. My priority is Super Formula, otherwise we’ll have to find something else.”

Vidales’ team-mate Fraga enjoyed a more positive conclusion to the season at Motegi as he scored two podiums to cement fourth place in the standings, making him second-best of the rookie contingent behind Honda junior Shun Koide.

Gran Turismo Esports star Fraga scored his first win back in the second round of the season at Sugo, but said it took him until the penultimate round at Okayama to find strong form.

“When we entered this season, we struggled a lot to find the right balance with the car,” the Japan-born Brazilian told 

“We had many weekends early in the season where we practised in the wet and qualified in the dry, so I could start well, but I was always defending from someone, never attacking. In the middle of the season, we had better weather and we fell behind a lot. 

“At the end of the season we finally found a direction and got back up to speed up to more, since the practice of Okayama, where we had a day extra and we had good weather. We found a good solution and the performance has been much higher since then.”

On his 2024 plans, he added: “Hopefully we are able to join the [Super Formula] test in December. Still we don’t know, but the goal is to step up. Then in SUPER GT, most likely I will stay in the same team [Arnage Racing].”

Fraga previously tested for Team Impul in last year’s post-season Super Formula test, but it’s understood that his only chances in 2024 are with Honda-powered teams.

Additional reporting by Kunihiko Akai

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