An interview with Takuma Sato

An interview with Takuma Sato

5 May 2008 – The situation at Super Aguri is unclear at the moment for many. Not just for the media and fans but even for the team's driver Takuma Sato the team's future is unclear. On Sunday it became clear that the Super Aguri team trucks are not allowed to enter the paddock in Istanbul. The news came as a big surprise to Sato - who hopes the team's future will soon be secured with the help of Honda.

The news that the SAF1 trucks apparently haven't been allowed to enter the paddock in Turkey, what do you know about this?
Takuma Sato: I was simply very surprised when I got the news from my manager. I have no idea why this has happened as I understood that no decision has been made by Honda yet and that a decision will be made in the next few days about whether we will be able to race or not. I heard that FOM was told that we are not racing so they wont let the trucks in but I don't understand why they have been told this when no decision has been made yet.

What is the current situation at Super Aguri?
Really still uncertain. As everyone knows now, the recent DIC investment with the Magma Group failed right at the last moment, which has created a huge problem for the team. Everyone thought this deal was going to happen and I had spent a lot of time with Magma and was excited about their plans to develop the team. So I was very disappointed that it didn't happen and it was only with great support from Honda that we were able to race at Barcelona. It is worth mentioning that it is only just over a week since this deal collapsed, a deal everyone thought was basically done. So for Aguri-san and the rest of the SAF1 management to try to find a new solution in a week is almost impossible.

Weigl has made an offer to the team, what can you tell us about that?
I met them at the Spanish GP and they have the great passion to get the team over the current difficulties. They do not seem to be scared by the challenge and in that way I would say that they fit our philosophy well and it would be a great partner for the team. It is a great compliment to the team that so soon after Magma failed, another investor has come in with a survival plan for the team. It just shows the team has a great reputation.

So if the team wants to accept the offer, the final decision will rest with Honda. What do you think they will do?
Obviously Honda has always been central to the whole Super Aguri team. We have always worked so closely together and I understand that they are in a difficult position right now due to DIC letting everyone down at the last minute, but I hope they will be able to continue the fighting spirit and give the team some more time to get the new investment in place. We have showed over the past two years how efficient we can be as a very little team and given the chance and support I believe we can be very competitive.

We need Honda support more then ever now and I am just hoping that they will be able to find a satisfactory solution. Honda are famous for their Racing Spirit and I am sure this will not desert them now.

According to some press reports, Super Aguri may not survive the current problems. What's your comment about this?
I really don't want to think too much about this as I need to keep my focus on racing. It is difficult enough to concentrate on the main job at the moment. But having said that, personally I am already looking forward to Suzuka 2009 when the Japanese GP goes back there. I know how important that event will be for Honda, the fans and of course myself. The thought of not being there is too impossible to think about. I just want a competitive package so I can challenge to the ultimate performance in front of the thousands of fantastic and loyal fans in Japan and around the world.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Saturday 2 July 2016

  2. Honda close to next engine upgrades 07:22

    Honda close to next engine upgrades

    McLaren engine partner Honda is set to introduce its latest batch of upgrades in the next "couple of races", according to the…

    F1
  3. Video of the Day: Austrian GP challenges 05:26

    Video of the Day: Austrian GP challenges

    Mercedes' Nico Rosberg and Andrew Shovlin discuss the challenges of the Austrian Grand Prix.

    F1
  4. Friday 1 July 2016

  5. 19:36

    Latest GP2 photos: Friday at Spielberg

    GP2
  6. Three drivers handed GP2 grid penalties 19:34

    Three drivers handed GP2 grid penalties

    Three GP2 drivers have been handed three-place grid penalties after a series of incidents during qualifying for the Feature Race…

    GP2
  7. 18:18

    Latest F1 photos: Friday at Spielberg

    F1
  8. Vettel gets grid penalty for new gearbox 18:16

    Vettel gets grid penalty for new gearbox

    Sebastian Vettel will receive a five-place grid penalty at this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix after Ferrari was forced to fit a…

    F1
  9. McLaren duo look to exploit possible rain 17:17

    McLaren duo look to exploit possible rain

    Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso both feel that rain will provide McLaren with its best chance of a strong result at the…

    F1
  10. Hembery: Sub-1m06s possible in qualifying 16:58

    Hembery: Sub-1m06s possible in qualifying

    Pirelli's Paul Hembery reckons a sub-1m06s lap could be possible in Austrian Grand Prix qualifying, providing the weather stays…

    F1
  11. Rosberg backs Red Bull Ring changes 16:33

    Rosberg backs Red Bull Ring changes

    Nico Rosberg has backed the resurfacing and kerb additions at the Red Bull Ring after the first day of practice for the Austrian…

    F1
  12. Verstappen: Walls better than new kerbs 15:50

    Verstappen: Walls better than new kerbs

    Max Verstappen feels that walls would be a more effective anti-cutting measure than the new exit kerbs at the Red Bull…

    F1
  13. Sirotkin edges Giovinazzi for Austria pole 15:30

    Sirotkin edges Giovinazzi for Austria pole

    ART Grand Prix Sergey Sirotkin claimed his second GP2 Series pole position of the season as he edged out Antonio Giovinazzi…

    GP2
  14. Vettel: Brake issue caused late FP2 spin 15:25

    Vettel: Brake issue caused late FP2 spin

    Sebastian Vettel says a brake distribution issue caused his spin during the closing stages of Friday's second practice session…

    F1
  15. Dragon Racing retains Duval, d'Ambrosio 14:57

    Dragon Racing retains Duval, d'Ambrosio

    Dragon Racing has confirmed that Loïc Duval and Jérôme d'Ambrosio will stay at the team for the 2016/17 Formula E…

    FE
  16. 14:39

    Austrian Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    F1
  17. Rosberg fastest in rain-interrupted FP2 14:37

    Rosberg fastest in rain-interrupted FP2

    Mercedes driver and championship leader Nico Rosberg again topped the timesheets during Friday afternoon's second practice…

    F1
  18. Pirelli announces Monza tyre compounds 14:04

    Pirelli announces Monza tyre compounds

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has announced its compound choices for the Italian Grand Prix, with the red-marked Super Soft…

    F1
  19. Drivers reprimanded for FP1 incidents 13:46

    Drivers reprimanded for FP1 incidents

    Manor drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto and Sauber's Marcus Ericsson have been given reprimands following separate…

    F1
  20. Sirotkin to test for Renault at Silverstone 13:13

    Sirotkin to test for Renault at Silverstone

    GP2 frontrunner Sergey Sirotkin will receive a day's worth of running with Renault during the post-British Grand Prix test, the…

    F1
  21. FIA releases 2016/17 Formula E entry list 12:46

    FIA releases 2016/17 Formula E entry list

    Formula E's entry list for the 2016/17 season, featuring 10 teams, has been released by the FIA. Eight of the 10 outfits on…

    FE
  22. Ricciardo honoured with home grandstand 11:41

    Ricciardo honoured with home grandstand

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo has had a grandstand named after him at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne as a gift from…

    F1
  23. Ferrari spends another engine token 11:20

    Ferrari spends another engine token

    Ferrari used up another of its engine development tokens ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix. Although the focus of Ferrari's…

    F1
  24. 10:37

    Austrian Grand Prix: Full Practice 1 results

    F1
  25. Rosberg sets record pace in first practice 10:35

    Rosberg sets record pace in first practice

    Nico Rosberg posted the fastest ever lap of the Red Bull Ring during Friday morning's first free practice session for the…

    F1
  26. Frijns stays with Andretti in Formula E 09:36

    Frijns stays with Andretti in Formula E

    Amlin Andretti has confirmed that Robin Frijns will remain with the team in Formula E next season. Frijns, 24, made his…

    FE
  27. 08:52

    Follow first practice for the Austrian GP!

    F1
  28. Button: Tyre pressures 'unbelievably high' 08:12

    Button: Tyre pressures 'unbelievably high'

    Jenson Button has described Pirelli's mandatory minimum tyre pressures for the Austrian Grand Prix as "unbelievably high", and…

    F1
  29. Bottas plans to be 'more involved' in future 07:32

    Bottas plans to be 'more involved' in future

    Valtteri Bottas says he plans to be more involved in discussions regarding his Formula 1 future moving forward, but has made…

    F1
  30. Hamilton braced for engine grid penalties 06:12

    Hamilton braced for engine grid penalties

    Lewis Hamilton says that he is bracing himself for engine-related grid penalties over the remainder of the season after taking…

    F1
  31. Video of the Day: Red Bull Ring hot lap 05:22

    Video of the Day: Red Bull Ring hot lap

    Join Daniel Ricciardo for a hot lap of the Red Bull Ring ahead of this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix.

    F1
  32. Thursday 30 June 2016

  33. 19:03

    Latest F1 photos: Thursday at Spielberg

    F1
  34. Ferrari presents updated halo device 19:01

    Ferrari presents updated halo device

    Ferrari has publicly debuted an updated version of its 'halo' device, as Formula 1 inches closer to introducing increased…

    F1
  35. Sainz Jr. sure top team chance will come 17:08

    Sainz Jr. sure top team chance will come

    Carlos Sainz Jr. is adamant that an opportunity with a leading Formula 1 team will come, following confirmation that he will…

    F1
  36. Alonso: Busy period will test McLaren 16:50

    Alonso: Busy period will test McLaren

    Fernando Alonso says the upcoming busy period in the Formula 1 calendar will provide an all-round test of the competitiveness of…

    F1
  37. Lowes 'astonished' by Aprilia test debut 16:37

    Lowes 'astonished' by Aprilia test debut

    Sam Lowes says he was left "astonished" by his first experience of MotoGP machinery as he tested Aprilia's RS-GP during a…

    MotoGP
  38. Ricciardo confirms Red Bull 2018 deal 14:29

    Ricciardo confirms Red Bull 2018 deal

    Daniel Ricciardo has formally confirmed that he will remain with Red Bull until at least the end of 2018, after Team Principal…

    F1
  39. Bottas eyes Williams podium challenge 14:05

    Bottas eyes Williams podium challenge

    Valtteri Bottas is confident that Williams can challenge for the podium positions at the Austrian Grand Prix as it bids to…

    F1
  40. Ericsson: Sauber outlook more positive 13:59

    Ericsson: Sauber outlook more positive

    Marcus Ericsson believes the outlook for Sauber is more positive, having negotiated "the most difficult part" of a troublesome…

    F1
  41. Haryanto still unclear over F1 future 13:50

    Haryanto still unclear over F1 future

    Rio Haryanto says he is still uncertain whether he will finish the current Formula 1 campaign with Manor but understands that…

    F1
  42. Haas opts to switch focus to 2017 car 12:24

    Haas opts to switch focus to 2017 car

    Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner says that the rookie outfit has now switched the majority of its focus to developing its…

    F1
  43. Video: Formula 1 driver eye-tracking 12:08

    Video: Formula 1 driver eye-tracking

    Explore the skills and reaction times of Nico Hülkenberg as he wears special eye-tracking glasses.

    F1
more news