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GP Week : Issue 24
> F1NEWS> Sato linked with Toro Rosso drive TAKUMA Sato has this week emerged as a potential Scuderia Toro Rosso driver for the 2009 season, in place of the underperforming Sebastien Bourdais. The demise of the Super Aguri F1 Team in the week preceding the Turkish Grand Prix left Sato without a Formula 1 ride, and the former Jordan, BAR and Super Aguri racer is thought to be high on Toro Rosso’s list of drivers for next season. Team Principal Franz Tost has made no secret of the fact that he is looking for an experienced driver to line up alongside a talented youngster next season, and Sato’s mature performances at the helm of the Super Aguri F1 team have not gone unnoticed in the F1 paddock. With 90 Grand Prix starts to his name, coupled with his enormous marketability in Japan, a region in which Red Bull is desperate to increase sales, Sato could be a perfect fit for the team. Sato’s manager Andrew Gilbert-Scott, told GPWeek that the goal remained to get his driver an F1 seat in 2009. “Formula 1 is all we are thinking about,”he confirmed. “It is true to say that we have had interest and some good offers from teams in other championships, but Formula 1 is what we are concentrating on. It’s where Takuma deserves to be, and naturally we are talking to a number of people about 2009.” With Toro Rosso on an employment drive as it strives to turn itself into a full-blown manufacturer from 2010, Sato’s experience would be of clear benefit to the team. With Bruno Senna rumoured to be lining up his debut F1 test with the team through his long- time advisor and Toro Rosso co-owner Gerhard Berger, one can only marvel at the potential commercial pull in Japan of a Sato/Senna line-up.