OCTOBER 11, 2000
Takagi to Patrick?
ALTHOUGH there have been rumors that Toranosuke Takagi may be considering a return to Formula 1 with a Minardi-Mugen deal with sponsorship from the PIAA company, we are hearing other stories which suggest that the Formula Nippon Champion will race in 2001 in CART as Roberto Moreno's team mate in the Patrick Racing team. Patrick is planning a switch from Ford engines to Toyota power next year and the rumors from the United States suggest that Takagi may be aligning himself with Toyota so as to get into F1 with the new Toyota factory team in 2002.
While this makes sense it is arguable whether the Minardi route is a better one as there are no guarantees that the Toyota team will be competitive in 2002 and while Minardi is unlikely to make a huge impression. Having said that it is traditionally a good launch pad into F1 for a young driver, so long as he makes a good impression. Takagi's problem is that he has already tried to make his presence felt in F1 and failed to impress many people.