Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Takuma Sato to test for Toro Rosso
Former Honda and Super Aguri driver, Takuma Sato is to return to Formula One with Scuderia Toro Rosso (STR) later this month in a test to show off his skills in an attempt to secure a drive for 2009. It will be Sato's first time in a F1 car since his former team, Super Aguri failed to secure enough money to continue in the championship and called it quits earlier this season. Although he has been pushing to get back into F1, Sato's manager, Andrew Gilbert-Scott, has admitted that Toro Rosso is the first to show some real interest.
Sato, a native of Japan, will be a welcomed re-addition to the grid in my opinion. Takuma, who had a reputation of being quick and a demon at race starts, but very erratic, benefited greatly from his experience in the now defunct Super Aguri team. He had the room and backing to develop in a team that was not expected to be at the front as opposed to his time at BAR-Honda. By the end of Super Aguri's run, he had become a more consistent driver, albeit one that still took some risks. He is a driver not short on confidence in his own abilities and can provide a huge marketing opportunity to Red Bull in Japan; Sato is basically a deity in his home country. Moreover, he has a wealth of experience having raced 91 Grand Prix. It is something that Sebastien Buemi, the other driver Toro Rosso is looking at, does not have. However, Buemi's advantage is that he is already in the Red Bull family as a development driver.
If Toro Rosso does not sabotage 4 times ChampCar Champion Sebastien Bourdais after one season, the pairing of Sato and Bourdais would be a formidable one. However, to pay both Sato and Bourdais would the spoiler in such a pairing.
Nevertheless, we will see how Sato performs in the test while shaking off some F1 rust.