Ticktum, who finished runner-up in an F3 to Mick Schumacher and secured a dominant second Macau Grand Prix win this year, has been long regarded as the programme’s likeliest next F1 driver.

He did not have the sufficient superlicence points to graduate in 2019, however, and will forgo moving to the next step in ’s junior ladder – F2 – in favour of a Super Formula switch with Mugen.

The Briton, who is to line up alongside Tomoki Nojiri, is currently taking part in the series rookie test at , and had a crash late in the opening day of running.

As reported earlier by Motorsport.com, Auer will join Ticktum in representing in Super Formula, and is likee present at the rookie test.

The nephew of grand prix winner Gerhard Berger, Auer tested with Force in F1 and has won races for in the DTM – but was left without a drive for 2019 due to the Silver Arrows pulling out of the German series.

The Austrian, who has been made an official part of ’s junior programme, will link up with the new joint operation between Motopark and B-Max in Japan.

has also confirmed the additions of an F3 rookie star Juri Vips and Japanese F4 champion Yuki Tsunoda to its junior roster.

Vips, who had his first outing as a -backed driver in Macau, will join Hitech’s line-up in the new F3 series.

-backed Tsunoda, who showed frontrunning pace in GP3’s post-season testing in with Jenzer, will continue with the Ss team in making the switch to F3, while also linking up with Motopark in an F3’s DTM-supporting successor Formula an Masters.

Both the planned Super Formula campaigns and Tsunoda’s addition align ’s programme closer with its Formula 1 team’s new engine supplier , which has been part of the Japanese manufacturer’s plans for next year.

said it would reveal more details on its activities in the “coming weeks”, which will entail announcements of 2019 plans for Jack Doohan, Dennis Hauger, Jonny Edgar and Harry Thompson – the four young drivers who made up its late-2017 intake.

No mention was made, however, of American racer Neil Verhagen, who was part of the RBJT roster this year as he finished 11th in Formula Eurocup.

Dan Ticktum, Team Mugen

Dan Ticktum, Team Mugen

Photo by: Masahide Kamio