Takuma Sato anticipates a thrilling race in front of a rapturous home crowd at Suzuka this weekend. An updated engine and a good Japanese Grand Prix record will bolster BAR’s 100th grand prix.

Takuma Sato anticipates a thrilling race in front of a rapturous home crowd at Suzuka this weekend. An updated engine and a good Japanese Grand Prix record will bolster BAR’s 100th grand prix.

Looking forward to his home event, Sato said the Japanese circuit, with its high-speed, technical corners, provided great racing for both the drivers and the fans. The abundance of local fans cheering the Japanese driver on is also an important factor to consider in Sato’s home race.

"The fans at Suzuka always support me very well and they are so enthusiastic! There is a big following for F1 in Japan and personally for me, at my home grand prix, the feeling driving there is unbelievable," Sato enthused.

Team manager Dave Richards said: "A home Grand Prix gives every team an additional boost and the Japanese Grand Prix is precisely that for BAR due to our partnership with Honda, and local hero Takuma," he added.

"We will be pulling out all the stops to deliver another solid performance next weekend and, whilst Takuma will rightly enjoy the adulation of his enormous fan base, I have no doubt that both he and team-mate Jenson Button will be very focused on the task in hand. By way of an additional incentive, the team is proud to be celebrating its 100th Grand Prix in Japan.”

Sato and Button finished sixth and fourth respectively at last year’s Japanese Grand Prix. This year, BAR and Renault are engaged in a battle to secure second place behind Ferrari in the constructor’s championship and BAR is currently nine points ahead.

"However, we are certainly not out of the woods yet and we have a tough battle on our hands in the last two Grands Prix,” Richards cautioned.

"Suzuka is a very special circuit in itself and I think our car and package will work very well there. The change of direction with our car is very good, which is important for the particular characteristics of this circuit," Button added.