Monday August 13th, 2001
Takuma Sato's manager Andrew Gilbert-Scott is confident the Japanese driver will be able to land a Formula One seat next season despite Frenchman Jean Alesi announcing he will drive for Jordan in 2002.
Sato is currently test driver for British American Racing, but he has been linked with their Honda-powered rivals Jordan for a race drive next year, although Alesi - who will drive for the Silverstone-based outfit in the remaining five races of the season - now seems favourite for the drive.
However, Gilbert-Scott is still hopeful Sato could drive for Jordan or for a different team next season.
"There is nothing arranged at the moment," said Gilbert-Scott. "Hopefully we will have a meeting in the next couple of weeks, and we are still in the running.
"We have certainly discussed it with them already, but we are talking to everybody and at the moment they are looking at the possibilities. They obviously now have this year sorted out but from what I understand, it is just an option on both sides for next year."
Gilbert-Scott also confirmed that Sato is definitely a free agent for next year despite his testing contract, which is with BAR and not Honda.
"Takuma's contract is with BAR for this year," he said. "He has an option on both sides for next year, but that is normal."
Published at 14:37:09 GMT