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Takuma Sato has revealed that he came close to rejoining Formula 1 on no less than three occasions on the run-up to the 2010 season, eventually electing to join KV Racing in America's IndyCar Series instead; the Japanese driver will compete in his first race on the same weekend as this year's F1 season-opener.
With Bahrain Grand Prix day coinciding with Indy's opening round in São Paulo on 14 March, Sato will compete on the other side of the pond after electing not to make an F1 comeback.
"I was always dreaming of continuing in F1 but I wanted a competitive car," Takuma, statistically the most successful Japanese driver in F1 history, explained to Reuters. "Being competitive was something I missed in the last few seasons. There were seats available with Campos or US F1 but I didn't feel it was appropriate - the name is F1 but I can't see those cars being competitive.
"I was very close with Toro Rosso, Lotus and Renault but it's always something beyond your control. That's F1."
Having testing his KV IndyCar earlier this week, Taku looks forward to competing in America this year. "I went to last year's Indy 500 and, if you stand in the middle of oval at Turn 1, the cars scream past you at 360 to 370 kilometres an hour (225-230mph) and into the apex the car just slides - it felt really scary to watch it, it was a big shock!" the former Jordan, B.A.R and Super Aguri driver continued.
"I've only driven for one hour but I had this big smile after and I felt like a kid; the car is different from F1 - it's heavier and there's lots of things that don't have electronic controls. It's classic racing. Everyone uses the same chassis, the same engine and the same tyres, which means everyone has a chance to win races which, from a driver's point of view, is great."
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