BAR has confirmed that Takuma Sato will continue as a race driver in 2005, although there has yet to be an official announcemet. There was some media speculation earlier this season that Sato's future was not secure, although Takuma himself was ...
BAR has confirmed that Takuma Sato will continue as a race driver in 2005, although there has yet to be an official announcemet. There was some media speculation earlier this season that Sato's future was not secure, although Takuma himself was never under any doubt to his position. The Japanese has a three year contract with BAR that commenced in 2003.
"I'm obviously very happy with the team and I'm expecting to be racing next year with BAR Honda because originally I had a three year contract, including one year testing and two year's racing of which this year is the first year," said Sato at the Belgian Grand Prix.
A question mark remains over whom will be teammate to Sato in 2005. BAR and Williams have both laid claim to Jenson Button's services for next season, and are awaiting a ruling from the Contract Recognition Board (CRB). Should Button have to remain at BAR, there will be further upheavals in the driver market.
The latest popular theory if Button stays put is that Williams will relieve Renault of the already-confirmed Giancarlo Fisichella, along with some financial fine-tuning, and in turn Renault will retain Jacques Villeneuve as teammate to Fernando Alonso.
If that happens, Sauber is the one that will somewhat put out. Villeneuve is already signed to the Swiss squad for 2005 and Peter Sauber, unsurprisingly, is not keen to see the Canadian jump ship. He has been quoted as saying that Villeneuve will "cost a lot".
In the case of the Button escaping to Williams, BAR's third driver Anthony Davidson is thought to be a candidate to replace him but there appears to be no favourite contender. The CRB is due to meet in Milan on October 16th to decide the Button dispute, so until then the speculation will no doubt continue to run.