Japanese duo has F1 future – Aguri Suzuki

Mon, 11 December 2006, 02:25

Aguri Suzuki has declined to rule out future roles in F1 for Japanese drivers Sakon Yamamoto and Yuji Ide.

The pair struggled alongside Takuma Sato at Suzuki’s fledgling team in 2006, but neither has retained a seat for next year following Super Aguri’s announcement that Anthony Davidson will make his GP debut in 2007.

31-year-old Ide was the first to depart this year when the FIA retracted his Super License after just four grands prix.

“I think I put him into formula one a little prematurely,” the Japanese squad’s owner and team principal Aguri Suzuki admits.

“He participated without any testing or background in formula one but I expect he will develop himself as an F1 racing driver in the future.”

Toyota’s new tester Franck Montagny plugged the seat until Sakon Yamamoto, 24, was promoted from a testing spot in June. Like Ide, he initially struggled, but at the season finale in Brazil Yamamoto sensationally set the seventh quickest lap time.

Suzuki commented: “He also did not have any satisfactory testing opportunities, but I think he made progress, in his way, race by race.

“He was fast in Brazil and his race management itself was very good. He is a very promising driver.”

Sato, meanwhile, will return from his post-season break this week to test Super Aguri’s ‘interim’ car at Jerez in Spain.


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