SEPTEMBER 4, 2001
Sato crowned but what is his future?
TAKUMA SATO wrapped up the British Formula 3 title last weekend at Thruxton and is this week testing for three days with BAR at Mugello. Sato has a contract to be the BAR test driver next year but he is believed to have an option to move elsewhere if he chooses to do so. We hear that he may be swayed to move because he does not want to work with Michelin (which BAR is expected to do next year), preferring to build up a stronger relationship with Bridgestone.
There is a possibility (albeit a small one) that he could move to McLaren but the Woking form is also believed to be planning to switch to Michelin and so Sato may have to look elsewhere if he considers this to be a decisive factor in his decision.
The obvious job is Jordan and the team would love to get Sato for next year. It was thought that he is not ready for a full drive in F1 next year but his recent testing for BAR has shown that he is right on the pace on a consistent basis - which is very impressive. Signing up Sato to drive alongside Giancarlo Fisichella next year would be a big bonus for Jordan as it battles with BAR to become the Honda factory team in 2003.
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