Jap journo turns racing driver
- Mattijs Diepraam
- 8W July 1988 issue, offers are kindly accepted to extend the length of this article!
- Masami Kuwashima - Probably the shortest Grand Prix career ever, by Mattijs Diepraam/Felix Muelas
1991 Japanese GP (prequalifying)
As a blindingly fast national F3 champion, Hattori was bound for big things, not only as a local star but also as the successor of Naka-san. But as with most Japanese drivers, his European career was never to lift off.
Wrong self-management and a big unawareness of 'the European way' seem to have been the major obstacles for Naoki, who oddly enough started off as a motor racing journalist before taking the wheel himself. His short-lived F1 career comprises no more than two prequalifying appearances for Coloni, which just had to fail.
Today, Hattori (not related to Indy Lights veteran Shigeaki) is busy rekindling his motorsport career Stateside, competing for a third consecutive year in Indy Lights, this season driving for KOOL Green Racing.