Takuma Sato

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Takuma Sato
Takuma Sato 2013.jpg
Nationality Japan Japanese
Born (1977-01-28) 28 January 1977 (age 41)
Tokyo, Japan
IndyCar Series career
151 races run over 8 years
Team(s) No. 30 (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)
2017 position 8th
Best finish 8th (2017)
First race 2010 São Paulo Indy 300 (São Paulo)
Last race 2018 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (Sonoma)
First win 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Long Beach)
Last win 2018 Grand Prix of Portland (Portland)
Wins Podiums Poles
3 8 7
Formula One World Championship career
Active years 20022008
Teams Jordan, BAR, Super Aguri
Entries 92 (90 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 1
Career points 44
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First entry 2002 Australian Grand Prix
Last entry 2008 Spanish Grand Prix
Previous series
20022008
2000, 2001
2000, 2001
1999–2001
Formula One
Masters of Formula 3
Macau Grand Prix
British Formula Three
Championship titles
2001
2001
2001
Macau Grand Prix
Masters of Formula 3
British Formula Three

Takuma Sato (佐藤 琢磨, Satō Takuma, born 28 January 1977) is a Japanese professional racing driver. He competed in Formula One from 2002 to 2008 for the Jordan, BAR and Super Aguri teams, scoring a single podium at the 2004 United States Grand Prix. Sato has raced full-time in the IndyCar Series since 2010 for the KV, Rahal, Foyt, Andretti, and starting in 2018, once again, the Rahal teams. Sato won the 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, becoming the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar race. He is also the first Asian driver to win the Indianapolis 500, having won the 2017 event.[1]

Racing career[edit]

Formula One[edit]

Jordan (2002)[edit]

In 2002 Sato graduated to Formula One with the Honda-powered Jordan team, and was paired with Giancarlo Fisichella. His low point was a tremendous crash in Austria, caused when Nick Heidfeld lost control of his Sauber under braking and hit the side of Sato's car, punching a hole in the side of the cockpit.[2] Throughout he showed flashes of speed but also wild driving, nevertheless the team's faith in Sato was repaid by a fine drive to fifth at his home Grand Prix in Suzuka.

BAR (2003–05)[edit]

Sato celebrates his only Formula One podium finish, at the 2004 United States Grand Prix.

With Honda's focus shifting solely to British American Racing for 2003 Sato joined the Brackley-based outfit as a test driver. For the final round in Japan Sato replaced Jacques Villeneuve and scored the second points finish of his career with sixth, despite a collision with Michael Schumacher. He was signed to race full-time in 2004. His season was blighted by numerous engine failures, suffering no less than six. In spite of this Sato's aggressive driving style paid dividends at the United States Grand Prix, after the team did not pit under safety car conditions Sato fought back with some daring overtaking moves to score his first podium finish, the first for a Japanese driver since Aguri Suzuki at the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix. He finished eighth in the championship with 34 points and helped the team to second in the Constructors' championship.

Sato was retained by BAR-Honda for the 2005 season, but the 2005 car was not as close to the front of the pack as the previous year's design. Sato missed the Malaysian Grand Prix with illness, and both drivers were disqualified from the San Marino Grand Prix and the entire team banned from the two subsequent races for using cars which were underweight when all fuel was removed. The Court did not find that this was deliberate. Sato's season never recovered from that point, after a crash-strewn season which included being disqualified from the Japanese Grand Prix for an overly-ambitious move on Jarno Trulli, Sato was not re-signed for 2006, despite Honda taking full control of the team.

Super Aguri (2006–08)[edit]

Sato joined the new Super Aguri F1 team for 2006, run by former Japanese driver Aguri Suzuki. The new outfit was in effect a Honda B-team but ran the first half of the season with a modified version of a 2002 Arrows A23 chassis. Nevertheless, Sato's reputation improved thanks to his professional attitude and competitive spirit. The team introduced a new car, the SA06 at the German Grand Prix and by the end of the season Sato was outpacing the Midland cars. At the season finale in Brazil Sato finished tenth just two places short of a points finish and comfortably ahead of both Toro Rossos and the Spyker MF1s.

For 2007, Super Aguri ran a reworked version of the previous year's Honda RA106 chassis. Their performance improved drastically as Sato made it through to Q3 at the Australian Grand Prix. He then scored the first point for the team at the Spanish Grand Prix. At the Canadian Grand Prix, Sato finished sixth after having a race that had seen him move from the middle of the grid to a high of fifth, passing Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen before a pit-stop error dropped him back to eleventh. He moved up five places in the last 15 laps, passing Toyota's Ralf Schumacher and then on lap 67 the McLaren-Mercedes of world champion Fernando Alonso; the latter pass was met with cheers around the track.[3]

Financial problems began to affect the team in the off-season winter break and the Japanese squad only just made it to the opening round of the 2008 season in Australia. The team used a modified Honda RA107 chassis, which was launched just before the first Friday Practice session that weekend. The car was just as uncompetitive as the Honda had been in 2007 and the team withdrew from Formula One after the Spanish Grand Prix.

In late 2008, Sato took part in tests at Jerez with Scuderia Toro Rosso, to become a candidate to fill the seat vacated by Sebastian Vettel. He was competing against former Toro Rosso driver Sébastien Bourdais and Red Bull Racing test and reserve driver Sébastien Buemi for one of the two race seats.[4] He first drove on 18 September, more than four months since Super Aguri's withdrawal, and tested for the team again for two days in November, setting the fastest time on the 17th,[5] 3 tenths ahead of Buemi, and proceeded by setting the second-fastest time on the 18th.[6]

Bourdais eventually won the race seat and in March 2009 it was announced that Sato would not be the reserve driver for the Red Bull team.[7]

IndyCar Series[edit]

KV Racing Technology (2010–11)[edit]

Sato driving for KV Racing at the 2011 Indy Japan 300.

Sato visited the Indianapolis 500 in May 2009. He signed with KV Racing Technology to drive in the 2010 IndyCar Series season[8] finishing in 21st place, he signed for the same team for 2011.[9]

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (2012)[edit]

At the 2012 Indianapolis 500, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Sato chased Dario Franchitti to the finish making a move for the lead and the race win at the first turn of the last lap. While not successful, Sato was respected by Indianapolis 500 fans for "going for it" on the last lap.

A. J. Foyt Enterprises (2013–2016)[edit]

For 2013, Sato joined A. J. Foyt's team, driving the No. 14 car vacated by Mike Conway. In the third race of the season at Long Beach, Sato scored his first IndyCar win, in his 52nd start in the series, making him the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar race.[10]

Andretti Autosport (2017)[edit]

Takuma Sato after winning the Indianapolis 500 race event on May 28, 2017 - Indianapolis Indiana USA

Sato joined Andretti Autosport for the 2017 season. He went on to become the first Japanese driver and first non Caucasian driver to win the Indianapolis 500.[11] After the 500 win, he went on to win a pole at the Dual in Detroit on Belle Isle. He also ended up winning another pole at Pocono Raceway in August.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (2018)[edit]

On 26 August 2017, it was reported that in 2018, Sato would rejoin RLL driving the 16 car and being a teammate to Graham Rahal as Andretti Autosport considered a move back with Chevrolet in 2018. That move by Andretti subsequently did not happen. After numerous weeks of bad luck including crashing early in the Indianapolis 500 and wrecking early at Pocono and a failed pit strategy at Gateway, Sato played the strategy right and held off Ryan Hunter-Reay in the IndyCar return to Portland, winning his third career race and his first on a permanent road course, doing so from 20th starting position.

Formula Nippon/Super Formula[edit]

On 14 June 2012, Mugen Motorsports announced that Sato would race with Team Mugen in the last 2 rounds, as well as the JAF Grand Prix, at Sportsland SUGO, Suzuka Circuit and Fuji Speedway of the 2012 Formula Nippon season.[12]

Formula E[edit]

On 20 November 2013, Sato became a test driver for the FIA Formula E Championship.[13] On 11 September 2014, Sato joined his former Formula One team Amlin Aguri to compete in Formula E, starting with the season-opening Beijing ePrix.[14] In the race, Sato was not classified, finishing the race four laps down despite setting the fastest lap with a time of 1:45.101.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Sato is married and has two children with his wife, Chiharu.[16] Sato was a national cycling champion in high school, and still utilizes cycling as part of his physical training for his racing career.[17]

Motorsports career results[edit]

Career summary[edit]

Season Series Team Races Poles Wins Points Position
1998 All-Japan Formula Three Dome Project 1 0 0 0 NC
1999 British Formula 3 Championship – National Class Diamond Racing 7 0 0 103 4th
Europa Cup Britain ? ? ? 48 2nd
Formula Opel European Union Series ? ? 1 115 6th
2000 British Formula 3 Championship Carlin Motorsport 12 6 4 129 3rd
European Formula 3 Cup 1 0 0 N/A NC
Macau Grand Prix 1 0 0 N/A 14th
Masters of Formula 3 1 0 0 N/A 28th
Korea Super Prix 1 0 0 N/A 8th
2001 British Formula 3 Championship Carlin Motorsport 25 6 12 345 1st
European Formula 3 Cup 1 0 0 N/A NC
Macau Grand Prix 1 0 1 N/A 1st
Masters of Formula 3 1 1 1 N/A 1st
Formula One Lucky Strike BAR Honda Test driver
2002 Formula One DHL Jordan Honda 17 0 0 2 15th
2003 Formula One Lucky Strike BAR Honda 1 0 0 3 18th
2004 Formula One Lucky Strike BAR Honda 18 0 0 34 8th
2005 Formula One Lucky Strike BAR Honda 16 0 0 1 23rd
2006 Formula One Super Aguri F1 Team 18 0 0 0 23rd
2007 Formula One Super Aguri F1 Team 17 0 0 4 17th
2008 Formula One Super Aguri F1 Team 4 0 0 0 21st
Scuderia Toro Rosso Test Driver
2010 IndyCar Series KV Racing Technology 17 0 0 214 21st
2011 IndyCar Series KV Racing Technology – Lotus 17 2 0 282 13th
2012 IndyCar Series Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 0 0 281 14th
2013 IndyCar Series A. J. Foyt Enterprises 19 2 1 322 17th
2014 IndyCar Series A. J. Foyt Enterprises 18 2 0 350 18th
2014–15 Formula E Amlin Aguri 1 0 0 2 24th
2015 IndyCar Series A. J. Foyt Enterprises 16 0 0 323 14th
2016 IndyCar Series A. J. Foyt Enterprises 16 0 0 320 17th
2017 IndyCar Series Andretti Autosport 17 2 1 441 8th

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 WDC Points
2002 DHL Jordan Honda Jordan EJ12 Honda RA002E 3.0 V10 AUS
Ret
MAL
9
BRA
9
SMR
Ret
ESP
Ret
AUT
Ret
MON
Ret
CAN
10
EUR
16
GBR
Ret
FRA
Ret
GER
8
HUN
10
BEL
11
ITA
12
USA
11
JPN
5
15th 2
2003 Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR 005 Honda RA003E 3.0 V10 AUS MAL BRA SMR ESP AUT MON CAN EUR FRA GBR GER HUN ITA USA JPN
6
18th 3
2004 Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR 006 Honda RA004E 3.0 V10 AUS
9
MAL
15
BHR
5
SMR
16
ESP
5
MON
Ret
EUR
Ret
CAN
Ret
USA
3
FRA
Ret
GBR
11
GER
8
HUN
6
BEL
Ret
ITA
4
CHN
6
JPN
4
BRA
6
8th 34
2005 Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR 007 Honda RA005E 3.0 V10 AUS
14
MAL
PO
BHR
Ret
SMR
DSQ
ESP MON EUR
12
CAN
Ret
USA
DNS
FRA
11
GBR
16
GER
12
HUN
8
TUR
9
ITA
16
BEL
Ret
BRA
10
JPN
DSQ
CHN
Ret
23rd 1
2006 Super Aguri F1 Team Super Aguri SA05 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 BHR
18
MAL
14
AUS
12
SMR
Ret
EUR
Ret
ESP
17
MON
Ret
GBR
17
CAN
15
USA
Ret
FRA
Ret
23rd 0
Super Aguri SA06 GER
Ret
HUN
13
TUR
NC
ITA
16
CHN
DSQ
JPN
15
BRA
10
2007 Super Aguri F1 Super Aguri SA07 Honda RA807E 2.4 V8 AUS
12
MAL
13
BHR
Ret
ESP
8
MON
17
CAN
6
USA
Ret
FRA
16
GBR
14
EUR
Ret
HUN
15
TUR
18
ITA
16
BEL
15
JPN
15
CHN
14
BRA
12
17th 4
2008 Super Aguri F1 Super Aguri SA08 Honda RA808E 2.4 V8 AUS
Ret
MAL
16
BHR
17
ESP
13
TUR MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN EUR BEL ITA SIN CHN JPN BRA 21st 0

Did not finish the race, but was classified as he had completed more than 90% of the race distance.

American open–wheel racing[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

IndyCar Series[edit]

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Rank Points
2010 KV Racing Technology Dallara IR-05 Honda SAO
22
STP
22
ALA
25
LBH
18
KAN
24
INDY
20
TXS
25
IOW
19
WGL
15
TOR
25
EDM
9
MDO
25
SNM
18
CHI
26
KTY
27
MOT
12
HMS
18
21st 214
2011 KV Racing Technology – Lotus STP
5
ALA
17
LBH
21
SAO
8
INDY
33
TXS
5
TXS
12
MIL
8
IOW
19
TOR
20
EDM
21
MDO
4
NHM
7
SNM
18
BAL
18
MOT
10
KTY
15
LVS1
C
13th 282
2012 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara DW12 STP
22
ALA
24
LBH
8
SAO
3
INDY
17
DET
20
TXS
22
MIL
20
IOW
12
TOR
9
EDM
2
MDO
13
SNM
27
BAL
21
FON
7
14th 281
2013 A. J. Foyt Enterprises STP
8
ALA
14
LBH
1
SAO
2
INDY
13
DET
19
DET
23
TXS
11
MIL
7
IOW
23
POC
22
TOR
24
TOR
20
MDO
22
SNM
23
BAL
24
HOU
17
HOU
14
FON
17
17th 322
2014 STP
7
LBH
22
ALA
13
IMS
9
INDY
19
DET
18
DET
18
TXS
18
HOU
22
HOU
19
POC
21
IOW
22
TOR
23
TOR
5
MDO
18
MIL
15
SNM
4
FON
6
18th 350
2015 STP
13
NLA
22
LBH
18
ALA
17
IMS
9
INDY
13
DET
11
DET
2
TXS
16
TOR
10
FON
18
MIL
14
IOW
19
MDO
24
POC
6
SNM
8
14th 323
2016 STP
6
PHX
15
LBH
5
ALA
13
IMS
18
INDY
26
DET
11
DET
10
RDA
17
IOW
11
TOR
5
MDO
9
POC
22
TXS
20
WGL
17
SNM
14
17th 320
2017 Andretti Autosport STP
5
LBH
18
ALA
9
PHX
16
IMS
12
INDY
1
DET
8
DET
4
TXS
10
RDA
19
IOW
16
TOR
16
MDO
5
POC
13
GTW
19
WGL
19
SNM
20
8th 441
2018 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing STP
12
PHX
11
LBH
21
ALA
8
IMS
10
INDY
32
DET
5
DET
17
TXS
7
RDA
4
IOW
3
TOR
22
MDO
17
POC
21
GTW
9
POR
1
SNM
25
12th 351

* Season still in progress.
1 The 2011 Las Vegas Indy 300 was abandoned after Dan Wheldon died from injuries sustained in a 15-car crash on lap 11.

Years Teams Races Poles Wins Top 5s Top 10s Indianapolis 500
Wins
Championships
8 4 151 7 3 16 39 1 0

Indianapolis 500[edit]

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
2010 Dallara Honda 31 20 KV Racing Technology
2011 Dallara Honda 10 33 KV Racing Technology – Lotus
2012 Dallara Honda 19 17 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
2013 Dallara Honda 18 13 A. J. Foyt Enterprises
2014 Dallara Honda 23 19 A. J. Foyt Enterprises
2015 Dallara Honda 24 13 A. J. Foyt Enterprises
2016 Dallara Honda 12 26 A. J. Foyt Enterprises
2017 Dallara Honda 4 1 Andretti Autosport
2018 Dallara Honda 16 32 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Complete FIA World Endurance Championship results[edit]

Year Entrant Class Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Rank Points
2012 OAK Racing LMP1 OAK Pescarolo 01 Honda LM-V8 3.4 L V8 SEB SPA LMS SIL SÃO BHR FUJ
16
SHA
14
80th 1

Complete Formula Nippon/Super Formula results[edit]

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 DC Points
2012 Team Mugen SUZ MOT AUT FUJ MOT SUG
9
SUZ
17
SUZ
10
15th 0
2013 Team Mugen SUZ
15
AUT FUJ MOT SUG
11
SUZ
9
SUZ
8
18th 0.5

Complete Formula E results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pos Points
2014–15 Amlin Aguri Spark-Renault SRT 01E BEI
Ret
PUT PDE BNA MIA LBH MON BER MOS LON LON 24th 2

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Malsher, David (28 May 2017). "Indy 500: Sato wins after thrilling shootout with Castroneves". Motorsport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 28 May 2017. 
  2. ^ Henry (ed.) (2002) Autocourse Haymarket publishing p.139
  3. ^ Benson, Andrew (10 June 2007). "Canadian Grand Prix". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 15 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "Sato in shoot-out for '09 STR drive". ITV-F1. 2 September 2008. Archived from the original on 3 September 2008. 
  5. ^ "Barcelona day one – Sato sets test pace for Toro Rosso". FOM. 17 November 2008. 
  6. ^ "Barcelona day two – Vettel fastest for Red Bull". FOM. 18 November 2008. 
  7. ^ Beer, Matt (4 March 2009). "Sato no longer in Red Bull reserve frame". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 15 February 2016. 
  8. ^ "Sato secures KV IndyCar deal". Autosport. 
  9. ^ Beer, Matt (4 February 2011). "Sato and Viso retain KV seats". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 15 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "Sato becomes first Japanese driver to win IndyCar race". USA Today. 21 April 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Malsher, David (28 May 2017). "Indy 500: Sato wins after thrilling shootout with Castroneves". Motorsport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 28 May 2017. 
  12. ^ "Takuma Sato will join TEAM MUGEN to challenge Formula NIPPON Round6 SPORTSLAND SUGO, Round7 SUZUKA CIRCUIT, and JAF GP FUJI SPRINT CUP". Mugen Motorsports. M-TEC Co., Ltd,. 14 June 2012. Archived from the original on 30 May 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2016. 
  13. ^ DiZinno, Tony (20 November 2013). "Takuma Sato will test for Formula E, which could alter Foyt seat". NBC Sports. Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  14. ^ "Sato signs up for Formula E opener". ESPN. 11 September 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  15. ^ "2014 Beijing ePrix". Racing-Reference. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  16. ^ "Takuma Sato announces birth of second child". f1sa.com. 1 October 2008. Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 2 October 2008. 
  17. ^ "Takuma Sato". IndyCar.com. Retrieved 30 May 2017. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Antônio Pizzonia
Autosport
National Racing Driver of the Year

2001
Succeeded by
Robbie Kerr
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Antônio Pizzonia
British Formula Three Champion
2001
Succeeded by
Robbie Kerr
Preceded by
Jonathan Cochet
Formula Three Masters
Winner

2001
Succeeded by
Fabio Carbone
Preceded by
André Couto
Macau Grand Prix
Winner

2001
Succeeded by
Tristan Gommendy
Preceded by
Alexander Rossi
Indianapolis 500 Winner
2017
Succeeded by
Will Power