Sato's Future Looks Bright, Says Manager

Takuma Sato's Formula One future still looks bright despite the omission of the Japanese driver's name from Jordan's provisional 2003 line-up, his manager said today.

Sato's Future Looks Bright, Says Manager

Takuma Sato's Formula One future still looks bright despite the omission of the Japanese driver's name from Jordan's provisional 2003 line-up, his manager said today.

"I am relaxed because his future is looking very good," Andrew Gilbert-Scott told Reuters. He said Sato had another option for next year if a deal could not be worked out with Eddie Jordan.

The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) issued its entry list on Monday with Minardi and Jordan the only ones among the 10 confirmed teams to have declared driver vacancies.

Jordan have both Giancarlo Fisichella and 2002 newcomer Sato under contract for next year but listed only the Italian. The team have said the second seat will be decided by commercial considerations.

The team has talked to Britons Eddie Irvine and Anthony Davidson, as well as Brazilians Felipe Massa and Enrique Bernoldi, about the drive.

Gilbert-Scott said that he fully understood Jordan's position and spoke regularly with the team, who have lost title sponsor Deutsche Post and are switching from Honda engines to Ford-owned Cosworth.

Sato, a former test driver for Honda-powered British American Racing (BAR), was seen as a protege of the Japanese car giant and became a home hero at Suzuka when he finished fifth in the last grand prix of the season.

"The situation is very, very difficult for Jordan at the moment...we accept that and it's now public knowledge that the driver has got to bring a lot of finance to the team," said Gilbert-Scott.

"Eddie would love to keep him (Sato) if there is a possible way," he added. "We've got some good negotiations going on with sponsors interested in Taku and we're still optimistic that something can be sorted out."

Teams have until March 6th 2003 - the eve of the opening Australian Grand Prix - to confirm their drivers.

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