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Sato entertaining no thoughts of retirement 08 May 2008

Takuma Sato (JPN) Super Aguri F1 Team.
Malaysian Grand Prix, Rd 2, Preparations, Sepang, Malaysia, Thursday, 20 March 2008 Takuma Sato (JPN) Super Aguri F1 Team SA08A.
Australian Grand Prix, Rd 1, Qualifying Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, 15 March 2008 Takuma Sato (JPN) Super Aguri F1 Team (Right).
Malaysian Grand Prix, Rd 2, Practice Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 21 March 2008

Takuma Sato insists he has no plans to retire from Formula One racing following the demise of Super Aguri. Sato had been with the Japanese team since their debut in 2006 and scored their first championship points in last year’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Super Aguri was put into administration this week after financial difficulties forced boss Aguri Suzuki to withdraw the team from competition. Sato described the news as ‘sad and disappointing’, but believes he still has plenty to offer Formula One racing.

“I feel I am driving at the top of my game and want to give so much more to my fans and supporters in Japan and worldwide who have been so incredibly supportive to me during my whole career," he said. “At this time I am not sure what will happen next as I have been concentrating all my efforts on racing for SAF1. I will be looking at my options with my manager and will make an announcement once it is appropriate. However, I have no intention to retire from F1.”

Sato paid tribute to both Aguri Suzuki and his Super Aguri colleagues and admitted that the past couple of seasons had been among the most emotional of his Formula One career.

“Every single person at Leafield did the most amazing job when the team started two and a half years ago by getting us to the grid in just four months, finishing in the top ten in our very first year and scoring four points last season,” he said. “They are a group of real professionals who can do almost the impossible.

“I have massive respect for everything that Aguri san has done for us; he has worked so hard to keep things going. I will also never forget all the team members who have put so much effort into this team and would like to thank them for what was achieved it the short life of the SAF1 team. It is incredible to think that just one year ago we scored our first ever point and the emotion and excitement of that moment has turned to such disappointment just one year on.”

Sato has been a regular on the Formula One grid since 2002 when he made his race debut with Jordan, going on to enjoy stints with BAR and then Super Aguri.