We're going to start this story by looking back 11 years - just to give you a little illustration of the warm regard in which Takuma Sato is held by some of the movers and shakers of the motorsport industry.
When he won the British Formula 3 Championship in 2001, completing a unique hat-trick by adding victories in the prestige F3 classics at Zandvoort and Macau, Sato's successes set Carlin Motorsport on the road to becoming the all-round powerhouse of junior single-seaters that it remains to this day.
Now, when you walk into Carlin's brand-spanking-new eat-your-dinner-off-the-shiny-floor facility, you see Sebastian Vettel's old Formula Renault 3.5 racer on the wall, hanging over Felipe Nasr's 2011 British F3 title winner.
But walk upstairs to the inner sanctum of Trevor Carlin's office, and there's Sato's feted Dallara F301 occupying pride of place.
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Marcus Simmons is the deputy editor of Autosport magazine. As a child he was a regular on the chalk banks of Thruxton, before becoming an MSA timekeeper at the age of 17. Shortly afterwards, he started reporting for Motoring News and joined the staff in 1990.
After abandoning a parallel Formula First career – which had been as incident-packed as his childhood equestrian exploits – he moved to Autosport in 1996. Since then he has had two stints as a freelance and a brief spell as editor of Motor Sport magazine, during which the revered green cover was revived, before rejoining Autosport in 2008. He lives in Twickenham with his partner, two daughters, cat and guitars.