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.
To continue reading this feature, subscribe to Autosport Plus today.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
- Your Autosport Plus subscription includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from a monthly or yearly membership.