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Sato, Ide to drive for Super Aguri
February 15, 2006 18:55 IST
Japan's Takuma Sato and Yuji Ide will drive for Super Aguri this season, the new Formula One team announced on Wednesday.
"I am grateful that these highly experienced drivers are joining my team," team principal Aguri Suzuki said in a statement.
"Although I expect a tough year as it is our first in Formula One, with these two drivers, I will put all my efforts into creating a positive outcome."
British-based Super Aguri will be Formula One's 11th team on the starting grid.
Sato drove for BAR, now Honda, last year and is Japan's most successful Formula One driver. His third place at the 2004 US Grand Prix made him the first Japanese to stand on the podium in 14 years.
Ide will be making his Grand Prix debut after coming second in Japan's Formula Nippon series last year.
"This year will be very exciting and challenging. I would like to thank Suzuki-san for giving me the opportunity to drive in Formula One," the rookie said.
"I drove an F1 car for the first time yesterday and I was nervous, but very excited."
Super Aguri will start the season in Bahrain on March 12 with old Arrows cars, updated to meet the new aerodynamics regulations and powered by Honda engines. They intend to introduce their own car later in the season.
Ide and Sato both took part in a private shakedown of the car on Tuesday, reporting no problems, and the team will begin testing at the Barcelona circuit in Spain next week.
"We know that there is a lot of hard work to do, but we are up for the challenge and I am really looking forward to it," Sato said.
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