Tallying up an impressive 159 laps over two-and-a-half days of pre-season testing, Marino Sato believes that he can “always be up there” with Virtuosi Racing in 2022, providing he has a clean season.

After two years with Trident, Sato made the switch to vice-champions Virtuosi in December, and the 22-year-old says he has settled in well with the British side.

“I needed a bit of time to adapt to the car at the test in Abu Dhabi (last December), but straight from the get-go here in Bahrain the car was feeling quite nice, so I feel that I am getting there.

“I am feeling comfortable here at Virtuosi. With the team, we managed to go through everything that we wanted to try out on the car in the first two days of the test.

READ MORE: Mastering one-lap pace will be key to Lawson mounting a title charge with Carlin

Sato drove 159 laps over two-and-a-half days of pre-season testing with Virtuosi
Sato drove 159 laps over two-and-a-half days of pre-season testing with Virtuosi

“The majority of the final day was then spent on long runs, which we didn’t really get the time to do on Day 2. I think everything is going quite alright so far and I am happy here.”

Enduring seven retirements in the past two years, Sato hasn’t always enjoyed the best of luck in F2, but the 2019 Euroformula Open Champion says he’s already feeling a lot more confident following a frustrating couple of seasons.

“I am much more confident than last year after these three days (of testing),” he continued. “Now we are going to get ready for the first race of the season.

“I think that if everything goes smoothly and we have a clean season, then I can always be up there. I am looking forward to the new season with Virtuosi and I am excited to get started at the first race in Bahrain.”