Honda junior Nobuharu Matsushita will return to Formula 2 for the 2019 season, joining reigning teams’ champions Carlin.

Matsushita spent three years with ART Grand Prix in GP2/F2 in 2015-17, claiming four reverse grid sprint race victories during his time on the grid.

In 2017, the Honda junior finished a career-best sixth in the championship and completed his first Formula 1 test outing with Sauber during the same season, before moving to Japanese Super Formula for ’18.

Finishing as the highest-placed rookie in Super Formula this season, Matsushita ended up 11th in the championship.

His return to the F2 field will see him replace 2018 vice-champion Lando Norris at Carlin, with the Briton promoted to a race seat at McLaren in F1 next season.

Monza F2 feature race winner Tadasuke Makino and fellow Honda junior Nirei Fukuzumi will make the opposite switch for 2019, as they will both move away from the F2 grid after their rookie campaigns to drive full-time in Super Formula.

Fukuzumi had combined his Arden International F2 duties with a part-time seat in Super Formula throughout 2018.