Takuma Sato

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Takuma Sato
Takuma Sato - August 2014 - Sarah Stierch.jpg
Sato at Sonoma Raceway in 2014
Nationality Japan Japanese
Born (1977-01-28) 28 January 1977 (age 38)
Tokyo, Japan
IndyCar Series career
Debut season 2010
Current team A. J. Foyt Enterprises
Car no. 14
Former teams KV Racing Technology
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Starts 88
Wins 1
Poles 5
Fastest laps 1
Best finish 13th in 2011
Previous series
2002–2008
2000, 2001
2000, 2001
1999–2001
Formula One
Masters of Formula 3
Macau Grand Prix
British Formula Three
Championship titles
2001
2001
2001
Macau Grand Prix
Masters of Formula 3
British Formula Three
Formula One World Championship career
Active years 20022008
Teams Jordan, BAR, Super Aguri
Entries 92 (90 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 1
Career points 44
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First entry 2002 Australian Grand Prix
Last entry 2008 Spanish Grand Prix

Takuma Sato (佐藤 琢磨 Satō Takuma?, born 28 January 1977) is a Japanese professional racing driver. He is racing for A. J. Foyt Enterprises in the 2014 IndyCar Series season.

Racing career[edit]

Formula One[edit]

In 2002 Sato graduated to Formula One with the Honda-powered Jordan team, and was paired with Giancarlo Fisichella. His low point was a tremendous crash in Austria, caused when Nick Heidfeld lost control of his Sauber under braking and hit the side of Sato's car, punching a hole in the side of the cockpit.[1] Throughout he showed flashes of speed but also wild driving, nevertheless the team's faith in Sato was repaid by a fine drive to fifth at his home Grand Prix in Suzuka.

Sato celebrates his first and only F1 podium at the 2004 United States Grand Prix.

With Honda's focus shifting solely to British American Racing for 2003 Sato joined the Brackley-based outfit as a test driver. For the final round in Japan Sato replaced Jacques Villeneuve and scored the second points finish of his career with sixth, despite a collision with Michael Schumacher. He was signed to race full time in 2004. His season was blighted by numerous engine failures, suffering no less than six. In spite of this Sato's aggressive driving style paid dividends at the United States Grand Prix, after the team did not pit under safety car conditions Sato fought back with some daring overtaking moves to score his first podium finish. The first for a Japanese driver since Aguri Suzuki at the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix. He finished eighth in the championship with 34 points and helped the team to second in the Constructor's championship.

Sato was retained by BAR-Honda for the 2005 season, but the 2005 car was not as close to the front of the pack as the previous year's design. Sato missed the Malaysian Grand Prix with illness, and both drivers were disqualified from the San Marino Grand Prix and the entire team banned from the two subsequent races for using cars which were underweight when all fuel was removed. The Court did not find that this was deliberate.[2]

Sato joined the new Super Aguri F1 team for 2006, run by former Japanese driver Aguri Suzuki. The new outfit was in effect a Honda B-team but ran the first half of the season with a modified version of a 2002 Arrows A23 chassis. Nevertheless Sato's reputation improved thanks to his professional attitude and competitive spirit. The team introduced a new car, the SA06 at the German Grand Prix and by the end of the season Sato was outpacing the Midland cars. At the season finale in Brazil Sato finished tenth just two places short of a points finish and comfortably ahead of both Toro Rosso's and the Spyker MF1's.

For 2007, Super Aguri ran a reword version of the previous year's Honda RA106 chassis. Their performance improved drastically as Sato made it through to Q3 at the Australian Grand Prix. He then scored the first point for the team at the Spanish Grand Prix. At the Canadian Grand Prix, Sato finished sixth after having a race that had seen him move from the middle of the grid to a high of fifth, passing Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen before a pit-stop error dropped him back to eleventh. He moved up five places in the last 15 laps, passing Toyota's Ralf Schumacher and then on lap 67 the McLaren-Mercedes of world champion Fernando Alonso (this was met with cheers around the track).[3]

Financial problems began to affect the team in the off-season winter break and the Japanese squad only just made it to the opening round of the 2008 season in Australia. The team used a modified Honda RA107 chassis, which was launched just before the first Friday Practice session that weekend. The car was just as uncompetitive as the Honda had been in 2007 and the team withdrew from Formula One after the Spanish Grand Prix.

In late 2008, Sato took part in tests at Jerez with Scuderia Toro Rosso, to become a candidate to fill the seat vacated by Sebastian Vettel. He was competing against former Toro Rosso driver Sébastien Bourdais and Red Bull Racing test and reserve driver Sébastien Buemi for one of the two race seats.[4] He first drove on September 18, more than four months since Super Aguri's withdrawal, and tested for the team again for two days in November, setting the fastest time on the 17th,[5] 3 tenths ahead of Buemi, and proceeded by setting the second-fastest time on the 18th.[6]

Bourdais eventually won the race seat and in March 2009 it was announced that Sato would not be the reserve driver for the Red Bull team.[7]

Switch to IndyCar[edit]

Sato driving for KV Racing at the 2011 Indy Japan 300.

Sato visited the Indianapolis 500 in May 2009. He signed with KV Racing Technology to drive in the 2010 IndyCar Series season [8] finishing in 21st place, he signed for the same team for 2011.[9]

At the 2012 Indianapolis 500, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Sato chased then leader of the 500 Dario Franchiti to the finish making a move for the lead and the race win at the first turn of the last lap. While not succussful, Sato is loved and respected by Indy 500 fans for "going for it" on the last lap.

For 2013, Sato joined A.J. Foyt's team, driving the #14 car vacated by Mike Conway. In the third race of the season at Long Beach, Sato scored his first IndyCar win, in his 52nd start in the series, making him the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar race.[10]

Formula Nippon/Super Formula[edit]

On 14 June 2012, Mugen Motorsports announced that Sato will race with Team Mugen in the last 2 rounds, as well as the JAF Grand Prix, at Sportsland Sugo, Suzuka Circuit and Fuji Speedway of the 2012 Formula Nippon season.[11]

Formula E[edit]

On November 20, 2013, Sato became a test driver for the FIA Formula E Championship.[12] On September 11, 2014, Sato joined his former F1 team Amlin Aguri to compete in FE starting with the season-opening Beijing ePrix.[13] In the race, Sato set the fastest lap with a time of 105.101 seconds, but was not classified, despite finishing the race four laps down.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Sato is married and has two children with his wife, Chiharu.[15]

Motorsports career results[edit]

Career summary[edit]

Season Series Team Races Poles Wins Points Position
1998 All-Japan Formula Three Dome Project 1 0 0 0 NC
1999 British Formula Three – National class Diamond Racing 7 0 0 103 4th
Europa Cup Britain  ?  ?  ? 48 2nd
Formula Opel European Union Series  ?  ? 1 115 6th
2000 British Formula Three Carlin Motorsport 12 6 4 129 3rd
European Formula Three Cup 1 0 0 N/A NC
Macau Grand Prix 1 0 0 N/A 14th
Masters of Formula Three 1 0 0 N/A 28th
Korea Super Prix 1 0 0 N/A 8th
2001 British Formula Three Carlin Motorsport 25 6 12 345 1st
European Formula Three Cup 1 0 0 N/A NC
Macau Grand Prix 1 0 1 N/A 1st
Masters of Formula Three 1 1 1 N/A 1st
Formula One Lucky Strike BAR Honda Test driver
2002 Formula One DHL Jordan Honda 17 0 0 2 15th
2003 Formula One Lucky Strike BAR Honda 1 0 0 3 18th
2004 Formula One Lucky Strike BAR Honda 18 0 0 34 8th
2005 Formula One Lucky Strike BAR Honda 16 0 0 1 23rd
2006 Formula One Super Aguri F1 Team 18 0 0 0 23rd
2007 Formula One Super Aguri F1 Team 17 0 0 4 17th
2008 Formula One Super Aguri F1 Team 4 0 0 0 21st
2010 Izod IndyCar Series KV Racing Technology 17 0 0 214 21st
2011 Izod IndyCar Series KV Racing Technology – Lotus 17 2 0 282 13th
2012 Izod IndyCar Series Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 0 0 281 14th
2013 Izod IndyCar Series A. J. Foyt Enterprises 19 2 1 322 17th
2014 Verizon IndyCar Series A. J. Foyt Enterprises 18 2 0 350 18th
2014–15 Formula E Amlin Aguri 1 0 0 2 24th
2015 Verizon IndyCar Series A. J. Foyt Enterprises 1 0 0 17* 13th*

* Season in progress.

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 WDC Points
2002 DHL Jordan Honda Jordan EJ12 Honda RA002E 3.0 V10 AUS
Ret
MAL
9
BRA
9
SMR
Ret
ESP
Ret
AUT
Ret
MON
Ret
CAN
10
EUR
16
GBR
Ret
FRA
Ret
GER
8
HUN
10
BEL
11
ITA
12
USA
11
JPN
5
15th 2
2003 Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR 005 Honda RA003E 3.0 V10 AUS MAL BRA SMR ESP AUT MON CAN EUR FRA GBR GER HUN ITA USA JPN
6
18th 3
2004 Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR 006 Honda RA004E 3.0 V10 AUS
9
MAL
15
BHR
5
SMR
16
ESP
5
MON
Ret
EUR
Ret
CAN
Ret
USA
3
FRA
Ret
GBR
11
GER
8
HUN
6
BEL
Ret
ITA
4
CHN
6
JPN
4
BRA
6
8th 34
2005 Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR 007 Honda RA005E 3.0 V10 AUS
14
MAL
PO
BHR
Ret
SMR
DSQ
ESP MON EUR
12
CAN
Ret
USA
DNS
FRA
11
GBR
16
GER
12
HUN
8
TUR
9
ITA
16
BEL
Ret
BRA
10
JPN
DSQ
CHN
Ret
23rd 1
2006 Super Aguri F1 Team Super Aguri SA05 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 BHR
18
MAL
14
AUS
12
SMR
Ret
EUR
Ret
ESP
17
MON
Ret
GBR
17
CAN
15
USA
Ret
FRA
Ret
23rd 0
Super Aguri SA06 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 GER
Ret
HUN
13
TUR
NC
ITA
16
CHN
DSQ
JPN
15
BRA
10
2007 Super Aguri F1 Super Aguri SA07 Honda RA807E 2.4 V8 AUS
12
MAL
13
BHR
Ret
ESP
8
MON
17
CAN
6
USA
Ret
FRA
16
GBR
14
EUR
Ret
HUN
15
TUR
18
ITA
16
BEL
15
JPN
15
CHN
14
BRA
12
17th 4
2008 Super Aguri F1 Super Aguri SA08 Honda RA808E 2.4 V8 AUS
Ret
MAL
16
BHR
17
ESP
13
TUR MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN EUR BEL ITA SIN CHN JPN BRA 21st 0

American open–wheel racing results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

IndyCar Series[edit]

Year Team No. Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Rank Points
2010 KV Racing Technology 5 Dallara Honda SAO
22
STP
22
ALA
25
LBH
18
KAN
24
INDY
20
TXS
25
IOW
19
WGL
15
TOR
25
EDM
9
MDO
25
SNM
18
CHI
26
KTY
27
MOT
12
HMS
18
21st 214
2011 KV Racing Technology – Lotus STP
5
ALA
17
LBH
21
SAO
8
INDY
33
TXS
5
TXS
12
MIL
8
IOW
19
TOR
20
EDM
21
MDO
4
NHM
7
SNM
18
BAL
18
MOT
10
KTY
15
LVS1
C
13th 282
2012 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 Dallara DW12 Honda STP
22
ALA
24
LBH
8
SAO
3
INDY
17
DET
20
TXS
22
MIL
20
IOW
12
TOR
9
EDM
2
MDO
13
SNM
27
BAL
21
FON
7
14th 281
2013 A. J. Foyt Enterprises 14 STP
8
ALA
14
LBH
1
SAO
2
INDY
13
DET
19
DET
23
TXS
11
MIL
7
IOW
23
POC
22
TOR
24
TOR
20
MDO
22
SNM
23
BAL
24
HOU
17
HOU
14
FON
17
17th 322
2014 STP
7
LBH
22
ALA
13
IMS
9
INDY
19
DET
18
DET
18
TXS
18
HOU
22
HOU
19
POC
21
IOW
22
TOR
23
TOR
5
MDO
18
MIL
15
SNM
4
FON
6
18th 350
2015 STP
13
NLA
22
LBH
18
ALA
17
IMS
9
INDY
13
DET
11
DET
2
TXS
16
TOR
10
FON
18
MIL
14
IOW
19
MDO
24
POC
6
SNM
8
14th 323
* Season still in progress
1 The Las Vegas Indy 300 was abandoned after Dan Wheldon died from injuries sustained in a 15-car crash on lap 11.
Years Teams Races Poles Wins Top 5s Top 10s Indianapolis 500
Wins
Championships
6 3 91 5 1 9 23 0 0

Indianapolis 500[edit]

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
2010 Dallara Honda 31 20 KV Racing Technology
2011 Dallara Honda 10 33 KV Racing Technology – Lotus
2012 Dallara Honda 19 17 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
2013 Dallara Honda 18 13 A.J. Foyt Enterprises
2014 Dallara Honda 23 19 A.J. Foyt Enterprises
2015 Dallara Honda 25 13 A.J. Foyt Enterprises

Complete FIA World Endurance Championship results[edit]

Year Entrant Class Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Rank Points
2012 OAK Racing LMP1 OAK Pescarolo 01 Honda LM-V8 3.4 L V8 SEB SPA LMS SIL SÃO BHR FUJ
16
SHA
14
80th 1

Complete Formula Nippon/Super Formula results[edit]

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 DC Points
2012 Team Mugen SUZ MOT AUT FUJ MOT SUG
9
SUZ
17
SUZ
10
15th 0
2013 Team Mugen SUZ
15
AUT FUJ MOT SUG
11
SUZ
9
SUZ
8
18th 0.5

Complete Formula E results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pos Points
2014–15 Amlin Aguri Spark-Renault SRT 01E BEI
Ret
PUT PDE BNA MIA LBH MON BER MOS LON LON 24th 2

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Henry (ed.) (2002) Autocourse Haymarket publishing p.139
  2. ^ Sato's season never recovered from that point, after a crash-strewn season which included being disqualified from the Japanese Grand Prix for an overly-ambitious move on Jarno Trulli, Sato was not re-signed for 2006, despite Honda taking full control of the team.Official Court of Appeal Decision (PDF)
  3. ^ [1] BBC
  4. ^ "Sato in shoot-out for '09 STR drive". ITV-F1. 02/09/2008.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ "Barcelona day one – Sato sets test pace for Toro Rosso". FOM. 2008-11-17. 
  6. ^ "Barcelona day two – Vettel fastest for Red Bull". FOM. 2008-11-18. 
  7. ^ Formula 1™ - The Official F1™ Website
  8. ^ "autosport.com". Autosport. 
  9. ^ Takuma Sato - IndyCar.com
  10. ^ "Sato becomes first Japanese driver to win IndyCar race". USA Today. 2013-04-21. Retrieved 2013-07-05. 
  11. ^ Takuma Sato will join TEAM MUGEN to challenge Formula NIPPON Round6 SPORTSLAND SUGO, Round7 SUZUKA CIRCUIT, and JAF GP FUJI SPRINT CUP. Mugen. 14 June 2012.
  12. ^ DiZinno, Tony (2013-11-20). "Takuma Sato will test for Formula E, which could alter Foyt seat". NBC Sports. Retrieved 2015-02-25. 
  13. ^ "Sato signs up for Formula E opener". ESPN. 2014-09-11. Retrieved 2015-05-25. 
  14. ^ "2014 Beijing ePrix". Racing-Reference. Retrieved 2015-05-25. 
  15. ^ "Takuma Sato announces birth of second child". f1sa.com. 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Antônio Pizzonia
Autosport
National Racing Driver of the Year

2001
Succeeded by
Robbie Kerr
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Antônio Pizzonia
British Formula Three
Champion

2001
Succeeded by
Robbie Kerr
Preceded by
Jonathan Cochet
Formula Three Masters
Winner

2001
Succeeded by
Fabio Carbone
Preceded by
André Couto
Macau Grand Prix
Winner

2001
Succeeded by
Tristan Gommendy