Sato soaks up home pressure

BAR ace Takuma Sato made his first public appearance of the week in Japan with a promotional tour of Tokyo on Monday - as he vowed to harness the massive local interest to fire him to a podium at Suzuka on Sunday

Sato soaks up home pressure

The Japanese ace is expecting the busiest week of his season with his fans whipped up into a state of delirium about their new hero - and his hectic schedule kicked off on Monday with media interviews, photo opportunities and television appearances.

Sato admits that the interest in him cannot but help affect his build-up to the weekend - but he is determined to use the attention as a positive rather than let it affect his performances on the track.

"Obviously I have to do a lot of PR activities and interviews before the race weekend and sometimes it is difficult to fit that into my training schedule," said Sato. "But the team are very good at making sure I have a good balance between doing the interviews that I have to do and ensuring that I still have time for my training and physical conditioning, so it doesn't really worry me too much. It's just really busy."

When asked whether the attention affected his focus, he said: "Not really. There's a bit of extra pressure but there's also a lot of extra energy as well. You really feel how positive the atmosphere is, not only for me but also for the whole team."

Although Ferrari is favourite for victory in Japan, a new 'Suzuka Special' engine from Honda which is set to give it a 30bhp step and aerodynamic improvements to the BAR006 should give Sato a shout of challenging for best of the rest.

"I've had a great result in Japan so far and with the package we have this year, we should be strong again," said Sato, who has finished in the points on both his appearances at Suzuka. "We will be aiming for a podium finish, which would be a great result for me in front of a home crowd."

shares
comments
Schuey still up for a fight

Previous article

Schuey still up for a fight

Next article

Cape Town keeps up F1 bid

Cape Town keeps up F1 bid
Load comments
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021