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Sato ready to give SA05 French send-off.


Takuma Sato and the Super Aguri F1 team will finally pension the SA05 chassis off with one final outing at this weekend's French Grand Prix, before the new SA06 is pressed into action at Hockenheim later in the month.

The SA05 has served the team faithfully, allowing it to find its feet in Formula One and giving Sato, Yuji Ide and Franck Montagny a stable platform from which to ply their trade, but all eyes will be on the arrival of the SA06 in two weeks' time. Until then, the Japanese star will have to contest one final race in the team's first GP machine, and he is not making too many heady predictions.

"The French Grand Prix will be the last race where we compete with the current car, and we shall be using our standard aero package, so it will be a challenging weekend for us," Taku admitted, "But, even though we were on a low-medium aero package for the North American races, we must keep the momentum going in terms of the speed and competitiveness that we achieved there and hope that we have a good race."

Since returning to Leafield from Indianapolis, SAF1 has been in full swing with its preparations for the French Grand Prix, which marks the centenary of grand prix racing, despite a lot of time being taken up readying the SA06 for its introduction in Germany. With only 135 personnel, deadlines for each milestone have been tough to achieve, but team boss Aguri Suzuki has been pleased to see everyone giving 110 per cent to make sure that both the latest targets are reached.

"The team is still very highly motivated, and we are looking forward to finally introducing our new car," Suzuki confirmed, "Until we do, we will continue to struggle, but we will learn a great deal, as we have at every race, from our participation with the SA05 in the French Grand Prix.

"Takuma qualified well and gave us our best starting position at the last grand prix, but we had to retire from the race and the result was very unlucky for the team. Our goal remains the same, to have both cars finish the race and, hopefully, improve on their finishing position."
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