St Petersburg IndyCar: Takuma Sato eyes win despite Chevy pace

Takuma Sato is convinced he can challenge for victory in the IndyCar season-opener in St Petersburg after qualifying on the front row for his AJ Foyt Enterprises debut

St Petersburg IndyCar: Takuma Sato eyes win despite Chevy pace

The ex-Formula 1 racer is certain that his Honda engine is on competitive terms with Chevrolet's, despite the latter having secured seven of the top 10 places in qualifying.

Sato believes that many of the Honda teams are having problems unrelated to the engine.

"I don't think [Honda] have an issue," said Sato. "We worked really hard in terms of the balance of the car. Today's conditions, or maybe perhaps this year's [softer option] tyre made the conditions different in terms of balance.

"I'm very satisfied with Honda's performance, and certainly compared to the last year, it's tonnes better.

"So I think Honda worked really hard, and hopefully by tomorrow also with the longer race distance we will not be at a disadvantage, and we'll have a good enough car to win the race - or to challenge for the win, at least.

"I don't think there is any big difference between Chevy and Honda."

Sato's front row result comes on his first weekend with AJ Foyt's team after he moved across from Rahal Letterman Lanigan at the end of last year.

"The team obviously worked really hard over the course of the winter test programme," Sato said. "To hold on to P2 was a perfect result for the team, and I'm really pleased to get it done."

Sato's previous best qualifying position in St Petersburg was 11th, which he has achieved twice.

shares
comments
St Petersburg IndyCar: Will Power starts season with pole

Previous article

St Petersburg IndyCar: Will Power starts season with pole

Next article

St Petersburg IndyCar: James Hinchcliffe claims maiden win

St Petersburg IndyCar: James Hinchcliffe claims maiden win
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Takuma Sato
Author Mark Glendenning
The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed Plus

The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed

Often unfairly characterised as a car-breaker, judged for his lack of an Indianapolis 500 win and a disappointing part-season of Formula 1 in 1993, Michael Andretti was highly respected by his rivals and only thwarted greater success by ill-fortune. When it all came together in 1991, he was a truly formidable force

IndyCar
Mar 6, 2021
How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite Plus

How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite

The second year of McLaren's full-time IndyCar return is looming, with Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up. Strong team personnel and work behind the scenes means that 2021 could be the year it joins the established elite

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart Plus

The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart

Flashes of brilliance amid spells of obscurity have been too common for Marco Andretti. While the third-generation racer has opted to bring his full-time IndyCar career to a close, his peaks and troughs have never been for want of trying

IndyCar
Jan 20, 2021
Why American racing's top dog is without equal Plus

Why American racing's top dog is without equal

A byword for success in business and in motorsport for over 50 years, Roger Penske's importance to the US scene cannot be understated. In an exclusive interview, the custodian of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway reflects on his journey

IndyCar
Jan 11, 2021
The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete Plus

The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indycar game-changer that won its third Indianapolis 500 five years after its debut

IndyCar
Dec 22, 2020
Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough Plus

Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough

Josef Newgarden feels he didn't put a foot wrong in 2020, yet his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield a third series championship. But in a warning shot to Scott Dixon, Team Penske's team leader has vowed to redouble his efforts in 2021

IndyCar
Dec 21, 2020
How Dixon held on in IndyCar's most unpredictable season Plus

How Dixon held on in IndyCar's most unpredictable season

Three wins on the trot gave the Chip Ganassi Racing superstar the cushion he needed to hang on for a sixth title in the face of Josef Newgarden's late challenge. Here's the rundown of a typically frantic IndyCar campaign in an extraordinary year

IndyCar
Nov 28, 2020
The balancing act required for improving racing at Indy Plus

The balancing act required for improving racing at Indy

Calls for an improvement in the racing spectacle at the Indianapolis 500 have been met with small aerodynamic tweaks from IndyCar on superspeedways. But where such high speeds are involved, even minor adjustments require significant planning

IndyCar
Oct 31, 2020