National Racing Driver: Takuma Sato

This year's National Racing Driver AUTOSPORT Award winner is British Formula 3 Champion Takuma Sato

National Racing Driver: Takuma Sato

The Japanese star, who graduates to Formula 1 with Jordan-Honda next year, was awarded the Paul Warwick Trophy at the ceremony at Grosvenor House, London, by Renault Sport's Jenson Button - who becomes a rival on the Grand Prix grid next year.

Sato won 12 races on his way to the British F3 title, and also recorded victories at the prestigious Marlboro Masters and Macau events along the way in his Carlin Motorsport Dallara-Honda. He also managed to find time to test for the British American Racing F1 squad this season, but makes the leap to F1 full time with Jordan in the Australian Grand Prix in March.

His stellar season marked him out as one of motorsport's brightest prospects for the future, and his talent has been recognised by AUTOSPORT readers.

"Obviously, I'd like to thank British motorsport, it really made it happen for me" said Sato. "Carlin Motorsport are a really good team and I'm so happy with this."

Sato, who joins Jordan Grand Prix for the 2002 season looked forward to his F1 debut.

"I'm really excited about this," he said. This year is really important for young drivers and Ii'm just so happy to be one of them."

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