Honda website
Honda website

SEPTEMBER 23, 2003

Is Honda insisting on Sato in 2004?

There are fairly strong rumors coming out of Britain that Honda is pushing very hard to have Takuma Sato in the second BAR-Honda next year. BAR is keen to get the best possible driver line-up and is still negotiating with Jacques Villeneuve, but the fact that Sato may come with extra money from the Japanese car manufacturer must add to the attractiveness of hiring him as Villeneuve is unlikely to drive for free and is certainly not going to bring any money.

There have even been hints that Honda is threatening to pull the plug on the BAR engine supply deal if Sato is not signed.

This however sounds more like exerting pressure rather than actually being serious and the talks over the future of Sato will no doubt be moving along calmly, while BAR keeps its options open.

Villeneuve has no choice for the future in F1 as credible stories of other possible deals simply do not exist.