Why Japan is the right choice for Vidales’ career

Jan 12, 2023

MIM driver already at work with BMAX team ahead of the 2023 Super Formula Light season

When 20 years old David Vidales finished his maiden F3 season (scoring a win in Barcelona) he was faced with a difficult decision: where to go to pursue his career opportunities? At Monaco Increase Management, we believe in out-of-the-box thinking, so we sat with Vidales and evaluated various options across four different continents. In the end, it was jointly decided that he would compete in the prestigious Japanese Super Formula Light Championship for the 2023 season with the talented BMAX racing team.

It was a long and well-considered approach that led the young Spanish driver to test the car first at Okayama and then at Suzuka before another test was conducted early this year at Fuji, the track home to the very first Japanese F1 Grand Prix, ahead of the final decision, in which many factors played a role. The most important of them was the obvious capacity for Vidales and BMAX to develop a strong working relationship from day one. Unlike Europe, where the workflow often becomes congested, the Japanese have a different approach where the driver’s feedback is always welcome and carefully evaluated. For Vidales, who loves to sit with his engineers and share his driving impressions, it looked like the perfect working environment. “I’ve immediately felt welcomed in the Team and I love their way of working, I love being involved in all technical decisions”, said Vidales at the end of the last round of testing in Fuji. “The new Hankook tires for the season were not available yet, so we focused mostly on different parameter comparison and back-to-back testing. When the tires arrive for the March testing session, we’ll start working on set-ups”.

The 2023 Super Formula Light series calendar comprises a total of six weekends, each one of them counting three different races for a total of eighteen rounds, on such famous and demanding tracks as Autopolis, Sugo, Suzuka, Fuji, Okayama and Motegi, starting May 19-21 and ending November 10-12. Overall, the series provides an excellent return on investment as drivers have a lot of opportunities to show their real potential, and offering the best ramp to access the major Super Formula championship, whose cars can compete with F1 in terms of downforce and aerodynamic efficiency. The field should comprise drivers from all over the world, all of them gifted with talent and experience, making SFL a very interesting arena to compete in. In helping Vidales design his new career trajectory, MIM obviously considered the same path that another driver from our management had gone through. Alex Palou also had forged his driving skills in Japan before finding his way in the US to eventually clinch the 2021 Indycar championship and later securing a reserve driver contract for McLaren F1. His younger fellow countryman David Vidales, also with the help and full support of MIM, can now trace a career for himself in a competitive, highly professional racing environment. All the best David!