Takuma Sato: Wikis

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Takuma Sato

Takuma Sato at an autograph session at the 2005 United States Grand Prix.
Nationality Japan Japanese
Date of birth January 28, 1977 (1977-01-28) (age 33)
Place of birth Tokyo Japan
2010 IRL IndyCar Series
Debut season 2010
Current team KV Racing Technology
Car no. 5
Starts 1
Wins 0
Poles 0
Fastest laps 0
Previous series
2002–2008 Formula One
Takuma Sato
Nationality Japan Japanese
Formula One World Championship career
Active years 20022008
Teams Jordan, BAR, Super Aguri
Races 93 (90 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 1
Career points 44
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 2002 Australian Grand Prix
Last race 2008 Spanish Grand Prix

Takuma Sato (佐藤 琢磨 Satō Takuma?, born January 28, 1977 in Tokyo) is a Japanese automobile racing driver and the most successful Japanese Formula One driver in history.

Contents

Junior Years

Sato is unusual among Japanese drivers in having relatively little motor racing experience in his native country. He initially competed in bicycle racing, where he won several national junior-championships.

He began his karting career in Japan in 1996, at the late age of 19, and later entered the Suzuka circuit Racing School (SRS), a racing school managed by Honda. In 1998, Sato stepped up into the All-Japan Formula Three Championship and drove for the Mugen-Dome project, but he broke his contract with the team in mid-season and moved to England to pursue a career in European racing. Through 1998 and 1999 he raced in Junior Formula races throughout the continent, moving to the British Formula Three Championship at the end of 1999. In 2000 and 2001 he pursued full seasons in British Formula Three, finishing third in 2000 and winning the championship in 2001, and taking 16 wins over the two years. He also competed in international races at Spa-Francorchamps, Zandvoort, and Macau.

Promotion to Formula One

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Jordan

In 2002 Sato graduated to Formula One with the Honda-powered Jordan team, and was paired with Giancarlo Fisichella. His low point was a tremendous crash at Austria, caused when Nick Heidfeld lost control of his Sauber under braking and hit the side of Sato's car, punching a hole in the side of the cockpit.[1] Sato suffered a minor concussion, and was unable to leave the car for several minutes because of his legs being stuck, but soon recovered. At the final race of the season, his home race, the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit, Sato scored his first points. He finished the 2002 season with 2 points, 5 points behind his teammate Fisichella. He managed to outqualify his more experienced teammate 4 times.

BAR

Sato celebrates his first and only F1 podium at the 2004 United States Grand Prix.

In 2003, Sato moved to British American Racing (BAR), another Honda powered team, as a test driver, but drove the final race of the season at Suzuka in place of Jacques Villeneuve, finishing sixth. In 2004, Sato drove full-time for BAR and regularly challenged for the top five positions, achieving the second-ever podium finish for a Japanese driver (after Aguri Suzuki at the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix) by finishing third at the United States Grand Prix. He also achieved second place in qualifying for the European Grand Prix, behind only Michael Schumacher. His overall points tally suffered due to a series of mechanical problems, particularly with his Honda engine. Rumours in the paddock suggested that BAR were testing experimental parts on Sato's car; but these seem also to have been unfounded.[citation needed] Nevertheless Sato finished the 2004 season eighth in the drivers' championship (with 34 points). Sato and his team mate Jenson Button took BAR to second place in the constructors' championship.

Sato (right) side-by-side with Jarno Trulli at the 2005 Canadian GP

Sato was retained by BAR-Honda for the 2005 season, but the 2005 car was not as close to the front of the pack as the previous year's design. Sato missed the Malaysian Grand Prix with illness, and the entire team and both drivers were disqualified from the San Marino Grand Prix and banned from the two subsequent races for using cars which were underweight when all fuel was removed. The Court did not find that this was deliberate.[2] (see British American Racing article).

Super Aguri

Honda completed its takeover of BAR at the end of 2005, creating a works Honda team. Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello were announced as the race drivers for 2006, although Sato was offered the role of third driver. Instead he chose to drive for the new Super Aguri team, set up by Japanese former F1 driver Aguri Suzuki using Honda engines and updates of four-year-old Arrows chassis. Expectations were therefore very low. Early 2006 races saw Sato comfortably outpace rookie teammate Yuji Ide, continuing the trend with Ide's successors; Franck Montagny and Sakon Yamamoto. Sato went on to finish tenth at the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix, ahead of his team-mate Yamamoto, Robert Doornbos' Red Bull, both Scuderia Toro Rossos and both MF1s.

Sato remained at Super Aguri for the 2007 season and was joined by Anthony Davidson who had previously been his team mate at Carlin Motorsport in British F3. Sato started the season strongly, setting the team's best ever qualifying result of tenth place for the championship-opening Australian Grand Prix. He finished eighth in the Spanish Grand Prix, to record Super Aguri's first ever world championship point.

At the Canadian Grand Prix, Sato finished sixth after having a race that had seen him move from the middle of the grid to a high of fifth, passing Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen before a pit-stop error dropped him back to eleventh. He moved up five places in the last 15 laps, passing Toyota's Ralf Schumacher and then on lap 67 the McLaren-Mercedes of world champion Fernando Alonso (this was met with cheers around the track).[3] Sato was voted "Driver of the Day" on the British ITV website, ahead of Briton Lewis Hamilton, who had won his first race. This was Sato's last points finish of the season. He finished 17th in the Drivers' Championship standings with four points, his best result since 2004 when he drove for BAR.

Sato stayed with Super Aguri for 2008, but the team was in severe financial difficulty and withdrew from F1 with immediate effect in the week before the Turkish Grand Prix after the failure of several rescue packages. In late 2008, Sato took part in tests at Jerez with Scuderia Toro Rosso, to become a candidate to fill the seat vacated by Sebastian Vettel. He was competing against current Toro Rosso driver Sébastien Bourdais and Red Bull Racing test and reserve driver Sébastien Buemi for one of the two race seats.[4] He first drove on September 18, more than four months since Super Aguri's withdrawal, and tested for the team again for two days in November, setting the fastest time on the 17th,[5] 3 tenths ahead of Buemi, and proceeded by setting the second-fastest time on the 18th,[6] just ahead of Bourdais, and two tenths ahead of Buemi.

Sébastien Bourdais eventually won the race seat and in March 2009 it was announced that Sato would not be the reserve driver for the Red Bull team. [7] He subsequently spent 2009 on the sidelines, but stated in October that he was talking to both active and incoming Formula One teams about a drive for 2010.

Switch to IndyCar

Sato visited the Indianapolis 500 in May 2009. He has signed with KV Racing Technology to drive in the 2010 IndyCar Series season [8].

Personal life

Sato is married to Chiharu, and has two children: a son (born 2005) and a daughter (born 2008).[9]

Motorsports career results

Career summary

Season Series Team Name Races Poles Wins Points Final Placing
1998 All-Japan Formula Three Dome Project 1 0 0 0 NC
1999 British Formula Three Diamond Racing (National Class) 7 0 0 103 4th
Europa Cup Britain Diamond Racing  ?  ?  ? 48 2nd
Formula Opel European Union Series Diamond Racing  ?  ? 1 115 6th
2000 British Formula Three Carlin Motorsport 12 6 4 129 3rd
European Formula Three Cup Carlin Motorsport 1 0 0 N/A NC
Macau Grand Prix Carlin Motorsport 1 0 0 N/A 14th
Masters of Formula Three Carlin Motorsport 1 0 0 N/A 28th
Korea Super Prix Carlin Motorsport 1 0 0 N/A 8th
2001 British Formula Three Carlin Motorsport 25 6 12 345 1st
European Formula Three Cup Carlin Motorsport 1 0 0 N/A NC
Macau Grand Prix Carlin Motorsport 1 0 1 N/A 1st
Masters of Formula Three Carlin Motorsport 1 1 1 N/A 1st
2002 Formula One Jordan 17 0 0 2 15th
2003 Formula One British American Racing 1 0 0 3 18th
2004 Formula One British American Racing 18 0 0 34 8th
2005 Formula One British American Racing 16 0 0 1 23rd
2006 Formula One Super Aguri 18 0 0 0 23rd
2007 Formula One Super Aguri 17 0 0 4 17th
2008 Formula One Super Aguri 4 0 0 0 21st
2010 IRL IndyCar Series KV Racing Technology 1 0 0 12 22nd

Complete Formula One results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 WDC Points
2002 DHL Jordan Honda Jordan EJ12 Honda RA002E 3.0 V10 AUS
Ret
MAL
9
BRA
9
SMR
Ret
ESP
Ret
AUT
Ret
MON
Ret
CAN
10
EUR
16
GBR
Ret
FRA
Ret
GER
8
HUN
10
BEL
11
ITA
12
USA
11
JPN
5
15th 2
2003 Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR 005 Honda RA003E 3.0 V10 AUS
MAL
BRA
SMR
ESP
AUT
MON
CAN
EUR
FRA
GBR
GER
HUN
ITA
USA
JPN
6
18th 3
2004 Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR 006 Honda RA004E 3.0 V10 AUS
9
MAL
15
BHR
5
SMR
16
ESP
5
MON
Ret
EUR
Ret
CAN
Ret
USA
3
FRA
Ret
GBR
11
GER
8
HUN
6
BEL
Ret
ITA
4
CHN
6
JPN
4
BRA
6
8th 34
2005 Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR 007 Honda RA005E 3.0 V10 AUS
14
MAL
PO
BHR
Ret
SMR
DSQ
ESP
MON
EUR
12
CAN
Ret
USA
DNS
FRA
11
GBR
16
GER
12
HUN
8
TUR
9
ITA
16
BEL
Ret
BRA
10
JPN
DSQ
CHN
Ret
23rd 1
2006 Super Aguri F1 Team Super Aguri SA05 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 BHR
18
MAL
14
AUS
12
SMR
Ret
EUR
Ret
ESP
17
MON
Ret
GBR
17
CAN
15
USA
Ret
FRA
Ret
23rd 0
Super Aguri SA06 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 GER
Ret
HUN
13
TUR
NC
ITA
16
CHN
DSQ
JPN
15
BRA
10
2007 Super Aguri F1 Super Aguri SA07 Honda RA807E 2.4 V8 AUS
12
MAL
13
BHR
Ret
ESP
8
MON
17
CAN
6
USA
Ret
FRA
16
GBR
14
EUR
Ret
HUN
15
TUR
18
ITA
16
BEL
15
JPN
15
CHN
14
BRA
12
17th 4
2008 Super Aguri F1 Super Aguri SA08 Honda RA808E 2.4 V8 AUS
Ret
MAL
16
BHR
17
ESP
13
TUR
DNP
MON
CAN
FRA
GBR
GER
HUN
EUR
BEL
ITA
SIN
CHN
JPN
BRA
21st 0

American open–wheel results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

IndyCar

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Rank Points
2010 KV Racing Brazil
SAO
Ret
United States
STP
United States
ALA
United States
LBH
United States
KAN
United States
INDY
United States
TXS
United States
IOW
United States
WGL
Canada
TOR
Canada
EDM
United States
MDO
United States
SNM
United States
CHI
United States
KTY
Japan
MOT
United States
HMS
22nd* 12*
* 2010 season in progress
Years Teams Races Poles Wins Podiums
(Non-win)
Top 10s
(Non-podium)
Indianapolis 500
Wins
Championships
1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

See also

External links

References

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Antônio Pizzonia
Autosport
National Racing Driver of the Year

2001
Succeeded by
Robbie Kerr
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Antônio Pizzonia
British Formula Three
Champion

2001
Succeeded by
Robbie Kerr
Preceded by
Jonathan Cochet
Formula Three Masters
Winner

2001
Succeeded by
Fabio Carbone
Preceded by
André Couto
Macau Grand Prix
Winner

2001
Succeeded by
Tristan Gommendy

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