• Jul 11th 2008 at 7:03PM
  • 10

Takuma Sato's fans had pretty much given up on seeing their idol on track this past weekend at the British Grand Prix. Many of them had bought plane and/or GP tickets well in advance, only to be disappointed when Super Aguri followed Minardi, and Arrows in to the annals of Formula 1 history just two months ago.

So what did Taku do? Rent a kart track and invite his fans, plus a few select journalists, to race him in a 30-minute endurance race. Some fans, who had flown in from across Europe and of course Japan, were new to karting, so Taku graciously took them out for a few practice laps and providing one-on-one instruction. How many people get to have their first racing lesson from an F1 racer?

Takuma and his team mate won outright (of course), but then were disqualified for "speeding". Autoblog's team was in second right up to the final pitstop when we were penalized for over taking on a yellow flag, but we still made the podium.

As Formula 1's silly season kicks in to high gear, rumors around the paddock have Takuma moving back to Honda's F1 team next year (at the expense of Rubens Barrichello or Jensen Button), driving for Team Force India should the F1 newbies switch from Ferrari to Honda power next year, heading up team Japan in A1 GP or even leading an all new Team Honda USA (which should be called Team Acura surely) with Danica Patrick as his team mate. Unfortunately, Takuma wouldn't confirm or deny any such gossip.

Thanks to Taku management for the invite, to Apex Dream Drives for the pics (and speed) and to Takuma for a great day out.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't think Sato is a better driver than either Barichello or Button, so I doubt that rumor is true... I don't think he's better than Fisi or Sutil either, so I can't imagine him going to Force India... unless one of those drivers was on the way out anyways. Time will tell, I guess.
        • 7 Years Ago
        He is definitely more entertaining to watch. Button used to be fast but he's a yawner to watch. RB has the experience but out right race pace Sato will be faster for sure. He was much closer to Button with the same car than RB. There were times where he out qualified Button.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sato is awesome :D
      • 7 Years Ago
      Taking care and socializing with fans? Wow...no wonder he's out of F1. Those drivers are usually so detached from the fans.
      • 7 Years Ago
      A lesson from a Formula 1 driver. I envy you, :(.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think Sato would do well in IndyCar. Competition doesn't look that fierce. Take Bourdais for example. He dominated Champ car for a few years and is having a mediocre run in F1. Not that he has the right car to really shine, but he hasn't done anything to impress me just yet. Sato, on the other hand, passed 2 time world champ in a much slower car :)

      I don't see Honda giving up RB or JB for Sato. JB is, IMO, a better driver. RB is a great driver as well, just hasn't had the right car since he left the red team. His performance last week was amazing though for as slow as the car is. Hopefully he'll retire soon though - but I'd like to see Honda get some fresh blood instead of Sato.

      I don't even think Honda would put him on team Acura (and I don't believe that rumor either as the Super Aguri's are literally already on the auction block). IndyCar seems to be the right place for him.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If Acura/Honda makes the jump to LMP1 in the ALMS I wonder if he'd be one of the "factory" drivers in that effort?
      • 7 Years Ago
      F1 was more fun when Sato was racing. He and Montoya were the only guys out there willing to take risks, as opposed to the "follow the guy in front to get some safe points" crowd who currently make up the F1 grid (jury is still out on Hamilton).
      Raikonen, Alonso, Coulthard, Button = F1 drivers.
      Montoya, Sato = F1 racers.
      Big difference.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Sato made too many mistakes and JPM took too many risks. Both of them crashed a lot...more than they should have. Racing - real racing - is NOT a contact sport. It's about precision, control, and the bigger picture. It's about not taking an unnecessary risk by forcing a pass - because you know your fast enough to pass them later when you're not risking taking yourself out of the race. 2 of the F1 "drivers" you mentioned are world champs. The 2 F1 "racers" you mentioned aren't racing in F1 at all. One is driving a dodge in circles, and one is go-karting with bloggers ;)

        [disclaimer - I really do like Sato and understand go-karting is arguably racing in it's purest form. However, his career is not at all impressive compared to Kimi's, Alonso's, Coulthard's, and even Button's]
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looks like so much fun. Are these things faster than ordinary street cars?
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