Takuma Sato today posted a message to the news section of his website informing fans that he is no longer in negotiations with Red Bull Racing or Scuderia Toro Rosso over the possible role as a third driver for either of their teams. Sato had been praised for performing very well during tests after the close of the 2008 season, and was looking good for a comeback in the Scuderia Toro Rosso. However, Sebastien Buemi claimed the first seat, as expected, and after a long wait, the team decided to go with Sebastien Bourdais in the second.
Takuma Sato, who has come and gone from Formula One more times than most care to remember, actually impressed in testing late last year, often running ahead or very close to his rivals during the test sessions. However, not managing to get the drive, Sato continued negotiating with the squad over a possible role as the reserve driver, on standby should either of the main drivers be unable to race. Unfortunately for Sato, discussions have been fruitless.
I am no longer in negotiation with the Toro Rosso or Red Bull teams about their third driver positions. I am very disappointed that we were not able to come to an agreement with them, but you never know what is around the corner.
As everyone knows, I never give up, so we are still looking for the best options for the future. Takuma Sato.
Where that leaves Sato now is anybody’s guess. The Japanese driver has been out of work since the Super Aguri team folded early last year, and Scuderia Toro Rosso was clearly the drivers best chance of a return since. Looking at Sato’s comeback record though, I’m sure it won’t be too long before he is reported to be talking to Formula One teams again.
Given this role was unlikely to consist of more than going to Japan and drinking cans of Red Bull I doubt it’s going to be much of a setback for his career.
Unless, of course, Massa gets his way! 😀
That is a shame for Taku. Perhaps he should start chatting to Peter Windsor?
It is his own fault. Had he changed his name to Sebastian he would have a job by now. I expect Sebastian Senna to get the role now.
I think it’s too early for Sato to start any discussion with USF1 (now USGPE, thanks to B. Ecclestone!) staff, cause I don’t believe that this project will come true next year, yet. That team simply doesn’t exists. So, there’s no guarantee about its presence on the grid in 2010. Time will tell.