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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 February 2006, 08:06 GMT
Novice Ide joins Sato at new team
Takuma Sato
Sato had a disappointing time with BAR-Honda in 2005
New Grand Prix team Super Aguri have signed Takuma Sato and fellow Japanese Yuji Ide as their drivers for 2006.

Sato, 29, lost his BAR-Honda seat after a poor 2005 and had been offered a deal by the Midland team last year.

Ide, 31, is a Formula One novice who finished runner-up in Japan's Formula Nippon single-seater series last year.

Team principal Aguri Suzuki admitted he expected "a tough year" but added: "I am grateful these highly experienced drivers are joining my team."

Super Aguri was confirmed as a new entrant to Formula One last month.

The team is based in Tokyo but its factory is at the former Arrows headquarters in Oxfordshire.

They were given the green light to join the grid by F1's governing body the FIA after gaining the support of the other 10 teams.

It's going to be a tough year
Takuma Sato

Sato claimed just one point for BAR-Honda last year with an eighth-placed finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

He finished the season ranked 23rd out of 24 drivers with the same total as Red Bull's part-time racer Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Sato's first race in F1 was in Australia four years ago and his best finish to date came at the US Grand Prix in 2004 when he was third.

"I'm looking forward to working with Aguri, who has a fantastic track record in motor sports," said Sato.

Yuji Ide
Ide has raced in Europe before in the French Super Serie
"It's going to be a tough year, but I'm looking forward to taking on the challenge."

Ide is a veteran of the Japanese domestic scene and drove an F1 car for the first time on Tuesday.

Ide, 31, who finished second last season on the Japanese F-3000 series known as Formula Nippon, said he drove an F1 car for the first time on Tuesday.

"I was nervous, but very excited," he said. "The car is powerful."

Fry backs Super Aguri's 2006 bid
08 Dec 05 |  Formula One
Super Aguri could run Arrows cars
23 Nov 05 |  Formula One
New team bidding for F1 status
01 Nov 05 |  Formula One
Midland offer Sato 2006 contract
20 Oct 05 |  Formula One
Sato will leave BAR, says manager
22 Sep 05 |  Formula One
Takuma Sato
16 Oct 05 |  Drivers


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