Toyota Boss Blasts 'Reckless' Sato

Japan's Takuma Sato was branded a 'reckless' driver by Toyota team boss Tsutomu Tomita on Sunday after Sato's Suzuka farewell for BAR turned into a nightmare

Toyota Boss Blasts 'Reckless' Sato

Sato, who will leave the Honda-powered team at the end of the year, collided with Jarno Trulli on lap 10 of the Japanese Grand Prix, leaving the right side of the Italian's car badly damaged.

"I'm extremely annoyed," Tomita told Reuters. "What Sato did is just not on. It was reckless."

The incident was investigated by stewards and Sato's 13th-place finish was thrown out by Formula One's ruling FIA but Sato escaped a ban for next week's season-ending Shanghai race.

"I'm all in favour of aggressive driving but Sato goes way beyond what is acceptable," fumed Tomita. "You have to abide by the rules. He goes beyond being enthusiastic. It's flat-out dangerous."

Sato has worked hard to shed his 'wild man' image but received a 10-place penalty for last month's Brazilian Grand Prix after shunting Ferrari's Michael Schumacher off in Belgium.

No Reason

Trulli called Sato a liability.

"Sato tried a manoeuvre that was obviously impossible," he said. "There was no reason to try that move. I don't know what he was thinking."

He added: "He's been causing problems for a long time and the FIA has to take action to stop it."

Sato, who will be replaced at BAR by Brazilian Rubens Barrichello next year, said he had done nothing wrong.

"Obviously we were very close and I was going to the inside and braking but there was not enough room and we turned into one another," he said. "We have a different view on it but it's just a racing incident."

Tomita, though, insisted it was anything but.

"We're shocked to be the victims of that sort of thing," he said. "We want to see fair play and rules kept. At Spa Sato hit a red car (Schumacher's Ferrari) too.

"Being aggressive and putting people at risk are two separate things. What Sato did was unfair. It was completely out of order."

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Series Formula 1
Teams Toyota Racing
Author Alaistar Himmer
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