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GP Week : Issue 26
> F1NEWS> developments at Toro Rosso FORMER Super Aguri racer Takuma Sato is set to mark a return to Formula 1 later this month, when he makes his debut for Scuderia Toro Rosso at the September 17-19 test in Jerez. The Japanese driver has been out of the cockpit since Super Aguri went into liquidation back in May, and following recent speculation linking the former F1 podium finisher with a 2009 F1 return, news of his forthcoming test run will give new weight to stories of a comeback. With current STR driver Sebastian Vettel moving to Red Bull Racing in 2009, the team has at least one vacant seat to fill next season, and current speculation continues to cast doubt on Vettel’s team-mate Sebastien Bourdais continuing with the team. Both STR co-owner Gerhard Berger and Team Principal Franz Tost have expressed their desire to see an experienced driver line up alongside a youngster in 2009, and with almost 100 Grand Prix starts to his name, Sato’s name is said to be high on the list of candidates. eague While neither Toro Rosso nor Sato’s management could confirm that the test is set to go ahead, GPWeek understands that Sato will have a seat- fitting in Faenza in the week following the Belgian Grand Prix, before making his STR bow at the Jerez test after the Italian Grand Prix. GPWeek also expects STR to test Sebastien Buemi, Red Bull Racing’s current tester and one of the favourites alongside Bruno Senna for the rookie role at the team in 2009. Speculation over Red Bull driver movements took a further turn towards the extraordinary last week, as talk started to circulate that Red Bull’s David Coulthard was considering early retirement, with the Scot potentially calling it a day following the Italian Grand Prix. Should such a turn of events occur, Vettel would be expected to take Coulthard’s seat for the remaining Grands Prix of 2008 to bed him in with his new team, with Toro Rosso utilising the final four fly-aways to analyse the race calibre of potential 2009 drivers. 13