Saturday, October 22, 2005

Takumo , a walking pile up ....

Everyone knows how bad takumo is. In case, someone is to argue otherwise, here is a chronological description of all his exploits.

Credits : Planet F1

Although Sato appeared to be putting his crashaholic reputation behind him at the start of 2005, he was once again topping the headlines and the hit lists at the end of the season when he managed to tick off two drivers in three races.

2005 Belgium GP: Takes out Schumacher

Sato tangles with Schumi at La Source at Spa after locking his brakes, hitting the Ferrari driver from behind.

And Schumacher made plain his displeasure afterwards, slapping the Japanese driver on the helmet before he even had the chance to climb out of his stricken BAR.

Schumi said: "I'm not very happy - it's not the first time we've seen him involved. Every accident is unnecessary but this one seemed more unnecessary than usual. I did not see anything and just felt a bump at the rear of the car. It was stupid to finish the race like this when we had hoped that the mixed conditions might help us.”

Sato, however, pleaded innocent: "The incident with Michael happened on the first corner after the restart, following the safety car. With cold tyres and brakes, it was very difficult to stop the car and unfortunately, I touched the back of him."

Verdict: Sato's fault

2005 Japanese GP: Makes Trulli an enemy

Home hero Takuma Sato made a dreadful start to the Japanese GP when the BAR driver ran wide at Turn One and, as he pulled back towards the track, Rubens Barrichello's Ferrari careered into his front wing. Both drivers pitted, Sato for a new wing and Barrichello for a new left rear tyre.

However, while Sato was arguably exempt from blame for that shunt, he wasn’t for his crash with Jarno Trulli.

Trulli retired from the Suzuka race, the victim of an over-ambitious move from Sato. The Japanese driver lunged up the inside of Trulli's Toyota but succeeded only in punting out the Italian.

And the Toyota driver wasn’t at all happy about the situation.

"I think we have a dangerous person on the track," the Italian told ITV. "It's clear for a few years that he is just causing a lot of problems and we have to stop it. The federation has to take action. He tried to do a manoeuvre that is just impossible so I don't know what he is thinking when he is driving."

The FIA did take action, excluding Sato from the result for "forcing the driver of car number 16 off the track."

Verdict: Sato’s fault

2004 Monaco GP: Sato's smoking engine results in horror smash

As the race began, Sato made an excellent start, moving from eighth to fourth in seconds. Presently, though, Sato's engine began smoking; on the third lap and it exploded spectacularly, releasing an enormous cloud of smoke, in which Sauber's Giancarlo Fisichella collided with McLaren's David Coulthard and overturned several times. Both drivers were unhurt but out of the race, as was Sato.

Coulthard wasn’t charmed.

"Obviously I was very worried when Fisichella flew over me and his car landed upside down - we were lucky not to have a more serious accident," said Coulthard. "When Sato's engine blew up I couldn't see anything in front of me because of the smoke, so perhaps Fisichella was going a bit too fast but I don't know."

"However, smoke was coming from Sato's car already on the parade lap so I'm sure the engineers could have seen the telemetry that eventually the engine would blow up."

Verdict: Sato’s fault

2004 Belgium GP: First lap sandwich shunt with Webber

The race had barely begun before Sato was involved in an accident with Mark Webber. However, Webber exonerated Sato.

Webber said: "I was making my way up Eau-Rouge and aiming to get back to the pits when I lost the steering and unfortunately through not fault of his own, Sato hit me and that was the end of my race."

Sato, naturally, saw the accident as the Aussie’s fault: "I then saw Mark Webber going downhill towards Eau Rouge extremely slowly with his front wing missing and the problem was that he was in the middle of the racing line, so that is why I had to hit the brakes quite hard to avoid him. Montoya was overtaking me on the right-hand side at the top of the hill whilst I was passing Webber on his right, and I became sandwiched between the two cars. I didn't know what happened at the time, but Webber then hit me."

Verdict: Racing incident

2002 Malaysian GP: Sato commits the cardinal sin

At the start of the second lap the two Jordans collided when Sato, in his first year in F1, ran into the back of Fisichella. The pair were dicing behind Mika Salo and there is little doubt that Sato made a mistake. Both Jordans did, however, see the finish

"I am really sorry about what happened," said Sato. "I apologised to Giancarlo immediately after the race and he took it very well which I think says a lot of good things about his character."

Fisichella accepted the apology: "There is no point on dwelling on it. I think he has learnt his lesson."

Ha. As if.

Verdict: Sato’s fault

2002 Monaco GP: Sato takes himself out in spectacular fashion

Once again a big shunt happened to Sato. The Japanese driver wanted to let pass his faster team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella (finishing 5th position) after being told from the pits to do so.

The manoeuvre, though, went completely wrong as Sato, with the emotionless-fanatic Kamikaze face, crashed on the left side of the tunnel into the concrete wall at a speed of 280 km/h.

Sato was unhurt – just as he was at Spielberg and during the Historic Grand Prix of Monaco a week before, when he had damaged a Lotus Ford 49 at the harbour.

Verdict: Sato’s fault

2002 Austrian GP: shunts with Heidfeld

On lap 28 Nick Heidfeld skidded off the track, along the gravel and back onto the track again at Remus Curve. It was there that Sato, through no fault of his own, collided with Heidfeld.

The Japanese driver remained in the car immediately following the accident because the rear crash structure of the Sauber had broken through the side of the Jordan-Honda EJ12 monocoque slightly below Taku's right knee causing extensive damage and making it difficult for him to move.

Sato was treated at the scene by the FIA's Medical Team and removed to the medical centre where he was able to sit up and talk. News eventually filtered through that the Japanese driver had escaped serious injury, although he was transported to a local hospital by helicopter.

Jordan team boss Eddie Jordan later revealed that one of the doctors treating Sato had described the incident as "one of the biggest miracles they've ever seen."

Explaining the incident Heidfeld said: "I saw a cloud of tire smoke as (Alex) Yoong braked really hard and early ahead of us and maybe I pressed the pedal too hard as a result while the brakes were still cool. The next thing I knew I was going backwards down the grass. I'm just thankful that Takuma is okay."

Verdict: Racing incident

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