Takuma Sato Bio - Biography

Name Takuma Sato
Height 5' 5
Naionality Japanese
Date of Birth January 28, 1977
Place of Birth Tokyo
Famous for
Takuma Sato may not be the best Formula One driver on the grid, but his tendancy to crash into barriers and other cars have made him one of the most talked about and earned him a notorious reputation.

Such was his propensity for ill-advised meetings with barriers, gravel traps and the expensive hardware of his competitors during the 2004 and 2005 seasons that he was dubbed a crashaholic by all at Planet-F1. No doubt we'll be employing the moniker again soon.

Accidents are hardly a recently-discovered phenomenon for Taku, after all. The Japanese youngster often made the F1 headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2002.

Being the first rookie to crash in Australia and then bumping into his team-mate - Giancarlo Fisichella - early on gave the earnest Takuma a reputation as being a liability.

But the resilient Taku took it all in his stride and went on to prove he can - sometimes - be fast and keep it on the island.

Nonetheless, the funniest sight of the year was Taku wading back through the undergrowth in Montreal trying to get back to the pit and into the spare car. Most worrying sight of the year was when Nick Heidfeld's out-of-control Sauber rammed a helpless Taku in Austria. Luckily both survived with only the slightest of injuries.

His home race at Suzuka, though, proved to be a fantastic finale for him and Jordan.

Yet despite claiming fifth place in front of his joyous home crowd, Taku lost his Jordan seat, which some believe was inevitable after his backers Honda ended their engine contract with Eddie Jordan's team.

After a season testing for BAR, Taku returned to the grid for the final race of the 2003 campaign at Japan and impressed by finishing in the points.

2004 was a mixed affair because while his speed was never in question, his judgement certainly was.

Nurburgring was a case in point; Takuma delivered a searing display and yet, with second place his for the taking, he threw it away with an ill-advised and catastrophic lunge into Rubens Barrichello's Ferrari.

His first podium was eventually forthcoming at the U.S. GP.

But although his season total of 34 points was barely a third of what team-mate Jenson Button had collected, BAR extended Taku's contract for 2005.
Most observers suspected that his nationality, and Honda's patronage, was the only reason why.

2005 proved to be a wretched season for the Japanese driver, who had his first top-eight finish (in San Marino) disallowed after his team-mate's 2006 was deemed illegal

This not only led to BAR's disqualification from the race but also a two-race ban. Taku finished only one other GP in the points, finishing P8 in Hungary.

But while points were scarce, shunts were not, and by the end of the season he'd connected with at least half the drivers on the grid. The most notable moment being his Spa accident with Michael Schumacher which ended with the Ferrari ace slapping Taku.

Tired of the lack of results and hefty repair bills BAR, now owned entirely by Honda, finally opted not to renew Taku's deal, leaving him without a race-seat for 2006.

But just when it looked as if his F1 career had come to an abrupt end, he was handed a lifeline by newcomers Super Aguri, who don't appear to mind his notorious reputation.

Facing some low-level competition from first Yuji Ide and then Sakon Yamamoto, Sato was very much the team leader in the team. While points were never on the cards, the small team made good progress though the season and it was fairly common to see Sato running ahead of more established rivals early in the races.

The season finale in Brazil was by far Sato's best race of the season as he took the chequered flag in tenths position ahead of six of his rivals.

Sato remains with the team in 2007 when Honda have promised to play a bigger role in the development of Super Aguri's F1 car and hopefully an improved car will yield improved results. If, of course, he can stay out the barriers.

Takuma Sato Photos