Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda is pleased to announce that it has signed a two year race contract with 2001 British Formula 3 Champion Takuma Sato, commencing in 2002, with a Jordan option for an additional two years. In addition, Jordan can...
Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda is pleased to announce that it has signed a two year race contract with 2001 British Formula 3 Champion Takuma Sato, commencing in 2002, with a Jordan option for an additional two years. In addition, Jordan can confirm it is working with Jean Alesi to secure a role for the Frenchman to continue with the team next year.
Sato dominated this year's British Formula 3 Championship, taking a record 12 race wins in 13 championship rounds and seizing international victories at two blue riband events: the Marlboro Masters of Formula 3 at Zandvoort, Holland, and the non-championship Formula 3 support race at the British Grand Prix. No other race series in the world has produced as many F1 Grand Prix winners and World Champions as British Formula 3 - Ayrton Senna, Damon Hill and Mika Hakkinen are just three of the nine F1 World Champions schooled in the British F3 Championship.
The youngest Japanese driver to test in Formula One when he ran in the Jordan Honda EJ10 in December 2000, Sato's performance impressed Jordan's Chief Executive Eddie Jordan, who has since monitored the young Japanese's progress and supported his bold, and ultimately successful decision to spend an additional year racing in British Formula 3.
Commenting on his signing of Sato, Eddie Jordan said, "Sato has proved himself to be quick and outstandingly talented in the British Formula 3 Championship this year and deserves an opportunity to race in Formula One. Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda is delighted to be the team to give him this opportunity. Sato's contract with Jordan, along side the three year deal we have signed with Giancarlo Fisichella, gives Jordan vital continuity and a strong, long-term driver line up which will be key to our development with Honda. We hope that with the help of Honda and Bridgestone, we can develop Sato to make him the first Japanese driver to win a Grand Prix. With regards to Jean, he has been an inspiration to the team and it is our wish that he finds a role within Jordan for the future. We are currently working on defining this role and hope to announce it in due course."
Takuma Sato said, "Today's announcement makes me extremely happy as it is the goal I set out to achieve by deciding to do a second year in Formula 3 and combine this with Formula One testing. I am very excited about joining Jordan and am looking forward very much to starting work with the team, who I know already from my testing with them last year. This is a fantastic opportunity for me."