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Takuma Sato: Money Is Ready

Takuma Sato seems to acknowledge that the difference between him and Sebastien Bourdais will not be made on track, but off it. The Japanese driver, who has previously raced for teams like Super Aguri, BAR Honda and Jordan, admitted that finding the right amount of money from sponsors will count the most in Toro Rosso's decision to name their drivers for 2009.

“I have my money. My management has worked feverishly to find sponsors. When you are talking about the sums that are applicable for Formula One, only large companies are relevant and their decisions are not made quickly. I can only hope that time does not run away from me,” Sato was quoted as saying by German magazine Auto Motor und Sport.

He added: “Private teams such as Toro Rosso are in the present situation under even more pressure that the manufacturers, so for them every sponsor is a gift.”

The F1 veteran – aiming to start his 100th grand prix this year – hit the track for the second time in the off-season, during the second day of testing at the Jerez circuit. Sato recorded the 2nd best time of the day, behind 1st day performer Sebastien Buemi but ahead of 2009-seat contender Sebastien Bourdais.

When taking under consideration the two drivers for the second racing seat in 2009 – as Buemi is almost certain to be named official racing driver for the Scuderia in the upcoming season – Toro Rosso might opt for Sato for two more reasons. First, Bourdais didn't adapt too well to the life of Formula 1, scoring some rather poor results throughout his 18 starts in 2008. More, Sato would come to Toro Rosso carrying a lot of racing experience from his previous years inside the Great Circle, which would also help newcomer Buemi.

Also, with Red Bull taking full control of the Toro Rosso outfit following Gerhard Berger's departure from the sport, the Austrian company might take this opportunity to boost their famous energy drink sales on the Japanese market.

But of course, that's just paddock talk! Toro Rosso are expected to announce their 2009 lineup after the off-season testing. Whether it will be after Jerez or Algarve, we'll find out soon enough.
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