MX23RW : Friday, November 27 05:50:26| >> :120:81654:81654:

Japan needs another driver in F1 - Sato

Japan needs another driver in F1 - Sato
© Reuters
Takuma Sato says Formula 1 needs a new Japanese driver.

Takuma Sato says Formula 1 needs a new Japanese driver.

At Suzuka, the former Jordan, BAR and Super Aguri driver was in the paddock to support Honda and the Japanese driver Naoki Yamamoto.

31-year-old Yamamoto, poised to win his third Super Formula title this year, got his first taste of F1 with a Friday practice session for Toro Rosso at Suzuka.

Sato, who now races in Indycar, thinks Japan needs a new local hero to cheer on.

"F1 is doing well in Japan even if it is not the madness that we used to know," the 42-year-old told France's Auto Hebdo.

"Honda's recent wins are helping, but I don't think that's the problem. Fans want something other than what happened in the 80s and 2000s.

"The real solution is a Japanese driver who can fight for the podium. It's been five years that they have waited for a successor to Kamui Kobayashi," Sato said.

It is debatable whether Yamamoto fits the bill. He is already 31, and although supported by Honda, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says he "doesn't fit the criteria" for a Toro Rosso race seat.

When asked about Yamamoto, Sato answered: "He did a great job in the free practice given the circumstances, because it is never easy to just jump into a Formula 1 car.

"There is plenty of talent in Japan, but the challenge is to get all the pieces of the puzzle together. Super Formula is perhaps the discipline that is most similar to F1, so I think it's a matter of time before a Japanese driver arrives in Formula 1," he added.


Click here for more stories about Christian Horner

Click here for more stories about Alpha Tauri

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Max Verstappen pictured on September 28, 2019
Read Next:
Verstappen met to learn Honda future
Latest Sports Video
Read more about Christian Horner Formula 1

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Premier League
FA Cup
La Liga
Ligue 1
Primeira Liga
League One
National League
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Ukrainian Premier League
Danish Superliga
Welsh Premier League
Segunda Division
Serie B
Eerste Divisie
Copa Libertadores
Copa Sudamericana
Argentine Primera Division
Liga MX
AFC Champions League
Premier League 2 - Div 1
Premier League 2 - Div 2
Gallagher Premiership

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!