Sato Refuses to Give Up Hope

BAR's Takuma Sato is putting a brave face on the team's decision to sign Brazilian Rubens Barrichello for 2006

Sato Refuses to Give Up Hope

The Honda-backed team have made no secret that their preferred line-up for next season would be Barrichello and Briton Jenson Button, with the latter trying to get out of a contract with Williams.

Sato, with just one point so far this year but still the most successful Japanese driver in Formula One history, could clearly be out of a job come October with BAR looking for two consistent points scorers.

However he refused to give up hope at the Turkish Grand Prix on Friday and welcomed Barrichello's future arrival from Ferrari.

"To have a driver like Rubens who has winning experience and a massive experience in Formula One is certainly a help for BAR. I think it's a good thing," he said.

"Hopefully I will stay there and I'm looking forward to having him as a teammate. I have done everything I could," he added.

"This season was a little unfortunate for me with difficult circumstances but only I can do it so let's hope I have a seat for next year."

BAR, runners-up last year, were disqualified from the San Marino Grand Prix and then suspended for two races for breaking the weight and fuel rules.

Sato said he believed the team were keeping him fully in the picture and hoped a decision would be taken soon.

Team boss Nick Fry has said that the Japanese will have to score regular points from now on but added that the door was not closed to him.

"We like him a lot as a person, he's got a lot to add," he said on Friday. "If Jenson were to stay it would be Taku's decision as to what he chose to do."

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