Q & A with Takuma Sato

Conducted and provided by BAR-Honda's press office

Q & A with Takuma Sato

Q. The team is heading to Indianapolis for the US Grand Prix this week, what are your memories from your third place podium finish in 2004?

Takuma Sato: It was such a special moment for me as it was my first ever podium in F1. Having had a difficult first half of the season, I felt that every single person in the team and Honda were working really hard to make it happen for me. I was so happy for the team and myself. The race was very hard with one big accident and the safety car coming out. I was in the middle of the pack at one stage and then had to keep overtaking to get my position so it was a very exciting race. I had to fight so hard to get the result so it meant the podium was even more special for me, a great moment.

Q. How well do you think the BAR Honda 007 will suit the Indianapolis Speedway?

TS: The new aero package that we used at Canada worked well and we are hoping to be equally competitive at Indianapolis. It's been a good track for us in the past and I think the car will go well there.

Q. How does the car need to handle to be quick at The Brickyard?

TS: There are basically two ways to set your car up for the Brickyard circuit. You have to make a compromise between having some downforce for the infield section whilst also keeping maximum straight line speed for the long straight. The two types of set-up can actually end up doing the same laptime so it really depends on the team's strategy about whether to go for faster speed or better grip on the infield.

Q. Has the pace of the Renaults and McLarens surprised you so far this season?

TS: We knew they were strong from pre-season winter testing but obviously they have kept it going. That shows how competitive F1 is. If you look at last year when Ferrari dominated but this years Ferrari have their problems and the other teams are catching up. There is still a great opportunity to progress rapidly and I think there is no reason why we cannot do this over the next few races.

Q. The new tyres restriction regulation came into play for the 2005 season. How do you think the Michelin tyres have performed?

TS: Michelin are performing really well this season. One of their strong points is the qualifying performance and over one flying lap we are very strong. The key to making the tyres work is consistency and we have to improve all the time how the car works with the tyres.

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