Sato Needs to Keep Scoring Points

Takuma Sato can still hope to race for BAR next year but the Formula One team say he must score points regularly from now on

Sato Needs to Keep Scoring Points

The Japanese took his first point of the year in Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix, 13th round of the Championship, by finishing eighth.

However, the expected signing of Brazilian Rubens Barrichello from Ferrari, yet to be confirmed by either team but widely taken for granted in the paddock, has left a question mark over Sato's future.

If BAR's ideal line-up for 2006 is indeed Briton Jenson Button, who is trying to extricate himself from a contract with Williams, and Barrichello then that would leave no room for the entertainingly erratic Sato.

Team boss Nick Fry said that the Japanese driver still had plenty to play for, however.

"It (Sato's job) hasn't gone already, far from it. Takuma needs to put in decent performances for the rest of the year but the door is still open," he said at the Hungaroring.

"I don't think any driver's position is protected," added Fry, whose team is 45 percent owned by Japanese carmaker Honda.

"We've got to have two drivers that can regularly score points, it's as simple as that. Today Taku did a good job but we're looking for him to do that in every race."

Announcement Soon

Fry hoped the situation would become clearer soon.

"Obviously we'd like to sort out the Jenson situation as soon as possible. That's clearly difficult, but hopefully we can announce something regarding drivers in the next month or so," he said.

If that announcement, maybe before the Turkish Grand Prix on August 21, concerns Barrichello then Sato would still have a chance if Williams force Button's hand.

He faces strong competition for the seat, however.

"Lots of people have expressed interest in coming to the team, which is really very encouraging," said Fry. "I think they can all see the opportunity here just as Jenson can. As far as specifics, I can't say any more.

"We have always said we will win the Championship and we've said that with a straight face. We know it's going to be difficult, it's not going to happen tomorrow but we're convinced it will happen.

"Otherwise we wouldn't be bothering to compete."

BAR want Button to stay, as does the 25-year-old, but Williams have said they will not release the Briton from the contract he agreed with them last year.

"We'd like him here but it's not really within our control," said Fry.

"It's between Jenson and Williams and the two contractees need to sort something out. We've made clear that we'd love to have him here for the long run, but we can't do a lot more than that," he added.

shares
comments
Trulli Laments Lost Podium

Previous article

Trulli Laments Lost Podium

Next article

Barrichello Confident Ferrari can Improve

Barrichello Confident Ferrari can Improve
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Racing Point
Author Alan Baldwin
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021