Sato Expects to Race Next Season

Japanese driver Takuma Sato says he expects to race in Formula One next season, despite not having a contract signed yet

Sato Expects to Race Next Season

Sato, who has lost his drive at BAR for 2006, said this week he had received an offer from a new Formula One team following last month's Brazilian Grand Prix.

The BAR-Honda driver said he was excited about the offer, which came ahead of his home Grand Prix, where Honda faced a backlash for letting Sato go and potentially leaving Formula One without a Japanese driver on the starting grid next year.

"I can't say a lot at this stage," said Sato. "Obviously I've had an offer. After Brazil, a lot of things have happened so quickly and I'm obviously very excited about this offer and I have more options for next year.

"I am expecting to race in 2006, whether with a new team or an existing team and I really want to be racing next year. So having had this great opportunity and more options, it's just so exciting information.

"But obviously there's still this weekend at Suzuka and also Shanghai and as I am still a BAR-Honda driver, I will do 100 percent commitment for these two Grands Prix and then I will think about it very carefully as to what is the best for me next season."

Honda said earlier this week they were hoping to supply engines to the new team but details of who the backers might be remains secret.

The timing of Honda's announcement that they could supply engines to the unidentified team has raised a few eyebrows in the F1 paddock.

However, Honda said on Friday that the identity of a mystery group will be announced soon.

"It's an independent team already involved in racing and hoping to enter Formula One," Honda Racing's president Yasuhiro Wada said.

"I wish I could tell you more. They are finalising details and I don't expect an announcement is too far away. I expect it will be made soon. We will have a contract to supply engines and also technical assistance."

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