Sato turns teacher to find Japan's next F1 heroes

Sato turns teacher to find Japan's next F1 heroes

Takuma Sato goes into this weekend's Indianapolis 500 - a race he won in 2017 - very much in contention and fifth in the IndyCar points. But alongside his own racing, he's already begun his next career: as a 'teacher' to future Japanese Formula 1 stars

When he won the 2017 Indianapolis 500 at the age of 40, Takuma Sato would have known that he was considerably closer to the end of his top-line career than the start of it. Now 42, he's still an IndyCar Series contender - fifth in the 2019 points, with a dominant win at Barber Motorsports Park under his belt - but he's already moved into what could be regarded as a post-career role.

That role is to find new Japanese talent to represent Honda in Formula 1, just as Sato did in 2002-08. Recent proteges of the manufacturer have impressed from time to time in Formula 2/GP2 and GP3, and now two new recruits have headed west to try to make a splash in the inaugural FIA Formula 3 Championship. Sato will help them, as he will all those who follow.

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