Marino Sato

Marino Sato

RACING IN: ELMS - LMP2

Biography

Marino Sato is a Japanese racing driver with significant single seater experience - including victory in the 2019 Euroformula Open Championship - who is making his endurance debut with United Autosports in the 2023 European Le Mans Series.  

Key Stats

Nationality

Japanese

Hometown

Yokohama, Japan

DOB

12th May

Favourite circuit

Imola

Racing career

Marino’s passion for motorsport was sparked by his father, an avid Formula 1 fan and amateur motorcyclist. During a track day with friends, Mr Sato spotted a go-kart track and soon enough five-year old Marino was in the drivers’ seat.

Fast forward to 2011 and Marino – now a teenager – was competing on the international karting stage, from Asia to Europe and beyond. In 2015, he made the move into single seaters, contesting the Italian F4 Championship for two seasons, and taking his first single seater win at Imola 2016 – a doubly poignant victory for the young racer who, with a name inspired by the nearby republic of San Marino, had always felt an affinity with Italy.

In 2017, Marino stepped up to the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, contesting two seasons (2017 and 2018) before taking on the Euroformula Open Championship in 2019 alongside friend and future F1 driver Yuki Tsunoda.

Marino took 9 wins, 6 pole positions and 5 fastest laps out of 18 races in EuroFormula- and secured the Drivers’ Championship with three races to go.

Next, Formula 2 came calling – with Marino contesting four seasons in the FIA championship (2019 – 2022). During this time, he was selected for a Formula 1 Young Driver Test, driving with Alpha Tauri at the end of the 2020 season at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

In 2023, Marino Sato is taking on a new challenge of prototypes and endurance, racing with United Autosports in the European Le Mans Series.

“ White

Marino did a fantastic job - it was a great first endurance weekend for him.

oliver jarvis
Career Highlights

// Winning his first Italian Formula 4 race at Imola in 2016

// Taking victory in the 2019 Euroformula Open Championship

// Securing a place on the AlphaTauri F1 Young Driver Test in 2020

Race helmet: A close-up of Marino Sato’s helmet design, inspired by cherry blossom – the national flower of Japan.

“ White

I would like to thank everyone in the team for their trust, and everyeone around me for making this happen.

MARINO SATO

EUROPEAN LE MANS SERIES

The 2023 European Le Mans Series marks Marino Sato’s debut LMP2 season, racing six rounds in the United Autosports #22 ORECA 07. He is joined by two experienced sportscar co-drivers – 2020 European Le Mans Series champion and Le Mans winner Phil Hanson, and former factory driver and Le Mans winner Oliver Jarvis – and, while the opening round in Barcelona didn’t go to plan with a puncture plaguing progress (read more), the trio are laser-focused on winning the championship.

Grid walk: Marino Sato on the grid in Barcelona, before taking the first stint in his debut endurance race with United Autosports.

personal life

As well as motorsport, music is a big passion for Marino – in particular, Japanese rock. He takes his favourite speakers around the world with him, is never caught without a pair of headphones (or two), and always tunes in to his favourite sounds before a race.