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Page last updated at 13:22 GMT, Thursday, 4 December 2008

Sato to test for Toro Rosso again

Takuma Sato
Sato's best finish was third in the 2004 US Grand Prix at Indianapolis

Japan's Takuma Sato will take part in a third test for Toro Rosso as he targets a return to Formula One in 2009.

The 31-year-old has been without a drive since the collapse of Super Aguri in May but will get back behind the wheel at Jerez on 10 December.

Sebastian Buemi and 2008 driver Sebastien Bourdais will also take part in the three-day test.

Toro Rosso have yet to confirm their 2009 drivers but a spokesperson said there was no deadline for a decision.

Buemi, Red Bull Racing's reserve driver, has been strongly linked with a seat at Toro Rosso, who are now 100% owned by Red Bull.

Dietrich Mateschitz, who owns both teams, revealed Buemi was "very likely" to be chosen, which would leave Sato and Bourdais to fight it out for the other seat.

Sato's commercial manager Matthew Winter said: "We obviously see this as a positive step, but still nothing is decided for the 2009 racing season."


The Japanese racer bettered Buemi and Bourdais to set the fastest times of the three during November's test at Spain's Circuit de Catalunya.

He also tested for Toro Rosso at Jerez in September and will return to the circuit as the teams undertake the penultimate test of the year.

Sato is Japan's most successful F1 driver, scoring 44 points from 90 races and taking third at the 2004 US Grand Prix.

However, he has not competed since this year's Spanish Grand Prix in April, when Honda-backed Super Aguri went out of business.

Bourdais hopes to retain his seat after the departure of team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who claimed the team's first victory at the Italian GP, to Red Bull.

The Frenchman scored four points in his debut season but is yet to convince the team he has done enough to earn another drive.

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see also
Berger quits as Toro Rosso boss
26 Nov 08 |  Formula One
Buemi poised for Toro Rosso seat
24 Nov 08 |  Formula One
Sato to test for Toro Rosso seat
02 Sep 08 |  Formula One
Toro Rosso to assess 2009 drivers
12 Nov 08 |  Formula One
Vettel to join Webber at Red Bull
20 Jul 08 |  Formula One
Sato's sadness at Aguri closure
08 May 08 |  Formula One
Struggling Super Aguri out of F1
06 May 08 |  Formula One

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