Takuma Sato has refused to give up on securing a drive in F1 in 2010, despite missing out on a place with the new Lotus F1 outfit.
Sato, who has been out of the sport since the closure of Super Aguri, had been linked with a drive with the Malaysian-owned team before confirmation that it will field Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen for its debut season.
That decision has left Sato - who had hoped to drive for Toro Rosso in 2009 before Sebastien Bourdais was retained and then replaced by Jaime Alguersuari – to look at other options for the new season, with the Japanese driver's commercial manager Matthew Winter insisting that Sato hasn't given up on making a return.
“We don't know what the criteria was,” he told Reuters
of the news that Sato had missed out on a Lotus drive. “We thought he was a very strong contender and you don't get more Asian than Taku.
“We haven't given up. 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.”
As things stand, two seats are still available with both Sauber and USF1, while Campos Meta, Virgin Racing, Toro Rosso, Renault and Mercedes have only named one driver.
Of those however, Campos Meta is believed to be likely to plump for either Alvaro Parente, Vitaly Petrov or Pastor Maldonado while Virgin is expected to confirm Lucas di Grassi as partner to Timo Glock.
While nothing official has been revealed by the team, Alguersuari is widely believed to have been retained by Toro Rosso for 2010 while Mercedes currently finds itself in the middle of one of the big stories of the off-season with the speculation surrounding a possible move for Michael Schumacher.