BAR's Takuma Sato answers questions about the recent Silverstone test and his hopes for the Canadian Grand Prix Q: You must be pleased with the way this season has gone to date, notably with your impressive performances in two most recent Grands...
BAR's Takuma Sato answers questions about the recent Silverstone test and his hopes for the Canadian Grand Prix
Q: You must be pleased with the way this season has gone to date, notably with your impressive performances in two most recent Grands Prix?
Takuma Sato: The final results weren't quite what we wanted but at least our pace was very strong and we had a lot of positive feelings. So, yes, I'm satisfied and pleased with what we've achieved so far this season.
Q: How did your test at Silverstone go?
TS: It is a shame that we had such dismal weather on Tuesday but, on Wednesday, I had a good test running the new Honda engine spec until we suffered a transmission problem that forced us to stop during a tyre evaluation programme. We had completed 80% of the planned test however, so I am happy with the result and for recording the fastest time of the day.
Q: Was it always your intention to start slowly and then to start trying to match Jenson's pace once you had a couple of races under your belt?
TS: No, to be honest I was just a little bit unlucky in the first few races but of course I am still learning a lot so it's only getting better and better. It's now nice to see both of the cars up at the front - that's very encouraging. But for some reliability issues, I would have scored many more points. However, the important thing is for the team to find out exactly what any problems are and to sort them out so we can make the next step forwards. And we're doing that now.
Q: It must have been a great experience to have started from the front row of the grid at the Nurburgring?
TS: Yes, it was very exciting and I like that atmosphere. I was really satisfied with my qualifying and race. It was a big shame we could not finish the race but the team did a really good job.
Q: Having come so close in the European Grand Prix, you must feel a podium finish is getting closer and closer?
TS: Yes. A podium finish is my personal aim for this season and, as you saw from our strong pace at the Nurburgring as well as from what the team has done so far, I think it's a realistic opportunity and an increasingly big target.
Q: Looking ahead to the Canadian Grand Prix, what are your hopes for that race?
TS: I like the city of Montreal; the contrast between the newer developed and historical older side is beautiful. Also the fans over there are so enthusiastic and I really enjoy racing in front of them. The performance of the team has been very strong over the past few races and I am really looking forward to Montreal and Indianapolis - and to achieving what I hope will be my first podium.
Once again, this is a track that I have raced at only once before, but the circuit characteristics - the chicane with high kerbs and the hairpin in particular - are similar to Imola, where we were very competitive. They should suit the car and I am expecting us to perform well. Honda have been working very hard to introduce a good step with both power and reliability for here, so I'm feeling confident and eager to pick up where I left off at the Nurburgring two weeks ago.