The new Super Aguri team confirmed on February 15th that its race drivers for the 2006 season will be Takuma Sato and Yuji Ide. Sato, who previously raced for BAR, has long since been expected to take one of the seats while Ide debuts in Formula...
The new Super Aguri team confirmed on February 15th that its race drivers for the 2006 season will be Takuma Sato and Yuji Ide. Sato, who previously raced for BAR, has long since been expected to take one of the seats while Ide debuts in Formula One after competing in the Japanese Formula Nippon series in 2005.
Sato first raced in F1 with Jordan in 2002 then joined BAR (now Honda) as a test driver in 2003. He raced with the team in 2004 and 2005 but was replaced by Rubens Barrichello for this year. For the last couple of years Ide has competed in Super GT as well as Formula Nippon, in which he was second overall last season.
"I am grateful that these highly experienced drivers are joining my team," said principal Aguri Suzuki. "Although I expect a tough year as it is our first in Formula One, with these two drivers I will put all my efforts into creating a positive outcome."
Super Aguri has its first shakedown of the SA05 chassis at Kemble Airfield in Gloucestershire, UK, on the 14th with Sato behind the wheel. The car ran in a plain white without any livery or sponsor logos. The team's first three-day test will start at Barcelona from the 23rd of this month.
"Everyone at Super Aguri has done a great job to make the team happen in such a short period of time," said Sato. "I am extremely excited to be working with the team and especially with Aguri-san who has achieved huge success in motorsport."
"Yesterday I was delighted to shakedown the car for the very first time with all of the boys who have done such a great job. We know that there is a lot of hard work to do, but we are up for the challenge and I am really looking forward to it."
Ide commented: "This year will be very exciting and challenging. I would like to thank Suzuki-san for giving me the opportunity to drive in Formula One. I drove an F1 car for the first time yesterday and I was nervous, but very excited. The car is powerful!"
"I would also like to thank the whole team for working so hard to get the car ready for yesterday's shakedown. We had no problems and now I am very much looking forward to testing in Barcelona next week."