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No seat at Lotus for Sato

ESPNF1 Staff
December 13, 2009 « Button favourite to take BBC award | »
F1 options for Takuma Sato are running out © Getty Images

Takuma Sato, one of the drivers in contention for the two seats at Lotus, due to be announced on Monday, will not be driving for the team in 2010.

Team boss Tony Fernandes announced on social networking site Twitter on Friday that he was on the way to Malaysia to announce his teams drivers. The two contenders are now expected to be Jarno Trulli and ex-McLaren driver Heikki Kovalainen . Sato's management revealed that he has been told he had failed to land a seat with the team.

"We know Taku has not got Lotus - we found out yesterday," agent Matthew Winter told Reuters. "He has now come off the list. We don't know what the criteria was, we thought he was a very strong contender, you don't get more Asian than Taku."

Sato who last competed in F1 in 2008 with Super Aguri, lost his seat when the team collapsed. Although he has since been linked to IndyCar, he has always said that Formula One is his top priority.

With Lotus ruled out and seats for 2010 rapidly filling Winter is still hoping Sato will find a seat "We haven't given up," Winter said. "There are still a few seats open and we are trying to hunt them down. His options are running out so we don't know if he is going to be in F1 next year."