SEPTEMBER 27, 2005

Silly rumours about Sato

Takuma Sato is out of a job in F1 next year and he needs a large sum of money to get a drive with the Jordan team. The price at the moment is up around $10m and may go higher as drivers scramble to get one of the two seats left in F1. Sato's problem is that throughout his career he has been close to Honda and the Toyota F1 people say they have no interest in him and will not help to fund a drive with Jordan. And it is hard to imagine Honda paying for a driver to race a Toyota-engined car.

That leaves Red Bull and it is hard to imagine that Sato will cut across the top of the Red Bull Young Driver programme and take a ride instead of Christian Klien and Scott Speed, the two men expected to be seen in the rebadged Minardi team next year. We expect to see David Coulthard and Tonio Liuzzi in the main Red Bull team and Neel Jani named as the test driver for the squad although we have also heard that Robert Doornbos may be in with a chance of a job thanks to his strong links with Arden boss Christian Horner.

Sato might have some chance of a job as test driver but is more likely to stay in F1 if there is a secondary McLaren team with a Japanese backer in 2007.