Sato disqualified from Japanese GP
10 October 2005 –
Suzuka's F1 hero Takuma Sato was excluded from the Japanese grand prix after his clash with Jarno Trulli and a stewards' investigation. Trulli was furious after the 'impossible' attempt at the chicane, and Toyota boss Tsutomu Tomita called it a 'hopelessly ambitious' pass. "A driver should be aggressive but fair," Sato's compatriot continued.
It was an ignominious BAR-Honda exit on home turf for the Japanese, but he wasn't alone. 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve was docked 25 seconds for forcing Juan Pablo Montoya into the wall. "I had no idea what happened until I saw the video in the stewards' room," the French Canadian claimed.
The post-race finger pointing continued when Mark Webber blew the whistle on David Coulthard, who the Australian said jumped the start by 'two weeks'. "With the technology we have, they have to do something," he said. "One thousand per cent, he went before the lights went out."
Renault's gripe at the FIA involved a brief email that landed on the pitwall after Fernando Alonso passed Christian Klien by jumping over the chicane. When the email arrived, Alonso had already let Klien re-pass him.
Alonso had to slow down and let the Red Bull pass him again. "He lost seven seconds in the middle of the second stint," read a Renault statement.
Flavio Briatore said: "We don't understand why, but the FIA asked him to do it again. Without the delay, he could have been in front of Raikkonen after the second stop."
The only thing Ferrari have to boast about, as F1 departs Suzuka bound for Shanghai, is that third place in the constructors' championship is at least tied up. "In the ten years I've been with Ferrari," said dethroned world champion Michael Schumacher, "this has been our worst season."