Sato still determined to return to F1

Takuma Sato is unsure what his next career step is, after losing out on the Scuderia Toro Rosso drive to Sebastien Bourdais

Sato still determined to return to F1

Sato had been in the final running to land the second seat at Toro Rosso for 2009 after impressing the team during some tests with them over the winter.

However, the Japanese and his management team were unable to raise the levels of sponsorship needed to secure the seat.

Although clearly disappointed at missing out, Sato says he has not given up on making a return to F1.

"I am not sure what my future holds," Sato said on Friday morning. "I will be discussing with my manager what our next steps should be. However, I strongly feel that I have unfinished business in F1 and that I still have a lot to give.

"I am determined to stay in top level motorsport and I will be fully focused on making a return to F1 as long as any opportunity is there. I want to thank all my supporters who have been absolutely fantastic with their loyalty, I will always remember these fantastic relationships we have built and hope we can one day repay this support."

Sato's manager Andrew Gilbert-Scott expressed his disappointment at Toro Rosso's decision - and was adamant that money rather than ability was behind the decision to sign Bourdais.

"I am extremely disappointed that Scuderia Toro Rosso has not chosen Takuma to race for them in 2009," he said.

"Taku had showed tremendous speed and commitment during the three tests he did for the team and I believe he proved to be the faster driver.

"Unfortunately however the team made no secret about the fact that they would need the drive to bring a substantial amount of funding to the team to secure the drive. We have all been working very hard and have been able to attract a significant amount of sponsorship to support the team but unfortunately it was obviously not enough to secure the drive.

"We would like to thank our loyal and new sponsors and also many Takuma fans for everything they did to try to help secure the Toro Rosso drive for Taku. We will now be looking ahead for the next opportunity."

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