Sato to get second Toro Rosso test
By Jonathan Noble Friday, November 7th 2008, 13:49 GMT
Takuma Sato, Scuderia Toro RossoTakuma Sato has been recalled for a second test with Scuderia Toro Rosso later this month, as the Red Bull-owned team continue to evaluate their driver options for 2009.
Sato tested for the outfit at Jerez in September, and will now join Toro Rosso at Barcelona for the test that takes place from November 17-19.
A statement on Sato's website said: "We are extremely happy to announce that Takuma will be testing again for Toro Rosso in Barcelona on 17-18 November.
"Toro Rosso have yet to decide on their driver line up for the 2009 season. We would like to thank all the fans, as ever, for their fantastic support for Takuma and look forward to more good news soon."
Toro Rosso have made it clear that they want a youngster and an experienced driver in their cars next year. With Sebastien Buemi favourite for one of the seats, the second available drive appears to be a shoot-out between Sato, Sebastien Bourdais and Rubens Barrichello.
As well as Sato's vast experience, the Japanese is an attractive option for Red Bull because of the drinks company's desire to make a breakthrough in his home market - where it has struggled so far to establish itself as a major brand.
Button tells Honda to retain Barrichello
By Simon Strang and Jonathan Noble Friday, November 7th 2008, 14:34 GMT
Jenson ButtonJenson Button has urged his Honda Racing chiefs to stick with Rubens Barrichello next year - as he thinks the team will be better off with two experienced drivers.
Honda have announced in the past few days that they are to test Brazilian youngsters Bruno Senna and Lucas di Grassi at Barcelona in Spain later this month as part of their evaluation process for a future race seat.
And although team CEO Nick Fry says it is important the team evaluate new blood, Button thinks Honda would be better off sticking with the experienced Barrichello for 2009.
When asked at a preview press conference for the Race of Champions whether he felt having two experienced drivers was vital for Honda, Button said: "Yes, definitely, especially with the new regulations.
"There are so many changes aerodynamically with the car, and with the KERS also, and the slick tyres, they will need a lot of feedback from us. And having a new boy in the car, I don't feel that you get as much feedback. But it is not my decision."
Button said that he felt Barrichello - who outqualified him 10 times this season - was in the best shape he had seen this year.
"He has driven better this year, than at any point since he has been with our team," said Button. "This is his best season and he says he is driving better now than he ever has done, and I don't think Rubens lies.
"He tells the truth, which is always good in a teammate, and he has put in some very good performances.
"The last three races have been his best. In the race we have been very similar in pace, but in qualifying he has beaten me in the last three races. He has done a good job."
Despite his feelings about Barrichello, Button believes the team were doing the right thing in trying out Senna and di Grassi
"Well it is interesting for the team and it gives them a chance, which is good for them," he said. "But I think it is important to test inexperienced drivers to see how quick they are because nobody really knows.
"Bruno almost won the GP2 championship, he finished behind Pantano who has been there for 10 years, but he might be astonishingly quick in an F1 car, we don't know."
Button's own deal for next year has not yet been confirmed, although autosport.com understands that provisional agreement about him remaining onboard has been reached.
"Nothing is sorted or signed but the team know how I feel and I think I know how the team feels," said Button. "Hopefully we can sort something out soon."
I really want Sato at STR as well...the guy deserves a much better car than what he had...
Toro Rosso wanted Montoya
It appears that the Scuderia Toro Rosso has shown interest in seven time Grands Prix winner Juan Pablo Montoya to replace Sebastian Vettel in 2009. However, the NASCAR driver has no desire to return to Formula One.
Tost said to 'Auto Motor und Sport': "Unfortunately he no longer wants to be in formula one."