Honda website
Honda website

SEPTEMBER 18, 2001

Sato and Jordan

THERE are increasing suggestions that Jordan Grand Prix may sign up Takuma Sato to race alongside Giancarlo Fisichella next year. The team is still considering whether to keep veteran Jean Alesi for another year or to invest in Sato, who is both a young driver and a Honda favorite.

Sato is currently under contract with BAR to test next year but most F1 driver contracts have clauses in which a test driver can leave if a rival team offers him a full racing contract. BAR team boss Craig Pollock refuses to discuss the deal that Sato has with BAR but our sources say that there is a buy-out clause to cover that eventuality.

Much will depend on what Honda wants to happen and does not want to be involved in any battle over a driver between its two teams. However the company would not be unhappy if Sato were to get a drive on merit.

Jordan will test Formula 3000 champion Justin Wilson and India's Narain Karthikeyan in the new few days and it is believed that the team has options on both men for the time being. Nowadays teams do not test young drivers without signed options for the future.