Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Sato still focused on Formula One return 06 Feb 2009

Takuma Sato (JPN) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR3 Formula One Testing 17-19 September 2008. Jerez, Spain. Takuma Sato (JPN) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR3 Formula One Testing 17-19 September 2008. Jerez, Spain. Takuma Sato (JPN) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR3 Formula One Testing 17-19 September 2008. Jerez, Spain. Takuma Sato (JPN) Scuderia Toro Rosso. Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, Thursday 11 December 2008.

Japan’s Takuma Sato believes he still has plenty to offer Formula One racing, despite missing out on a 2009 race seat with Toro Rosso to Sebastien Bourdais.

“I strongly feel that I have unfinished business in F1 and that I still have a lot to give,” said the former Super Aguri star, after Bourdais was confirmed on Friday.

“I am determined to stay in top level motorsport and I will be fully focused on making a return to F1 as long as any opportunity is there.”

Sato, who lost his Super Aguri drive when the team folded four races into 2008, tested three times for Toro Rosso over the winter and looked to be a strong contender for the seat.

“I am not sure what my future holds,” he added. “I will be discussing with my manager what our next steps should be.

“I want to thank all my supporters who have been absolutely fantastic with their loyalty. I will always remember these fantastic relationships we have built and hope we can one day repay this support.”

Sato’s manager, Andrew Gilbert Scott, admitted he was “extremely disappointed” with Toro Rosso’s decision and suggested that financial considerations may have played an important role.

“Taku had showed tremendous speed and commitment during the three tests he did for the team and I believe he proved to be the faster driver,” said Gilbert Scott. “Unfortunately, however, the team made no secret about the fact that they would need the drive to bring a substantial amount of funding to the team to secure the drive.

“We have all been working very hard and have been able to attract a significant amount of sponsorship to support the team but unfortunately it was obviously not enough to secure the drive.”

It means that Sato will not be on the grid for the Formula One season opener for the first time since 2003.