Sato says he's happy to have the chance to get back into Formula One. Young driver Sebastian Vettel will be moving to the Red Bull team in 2009, and Sebastian Bourdais, who has had a tough rookie year, has not been confirmed for a return, reports The Telegraph. That leaves at least one and potentially two seats to be filled next year, offering the 19-year old Buemi and the 91 Grands-Prix veteran Sato a shot at a drive in the Toro Rosso car.
In a statement, Toro Rosso said the pair will get a day each at the wheel of the STR3 at Jerez following the Italian grand prix because the team is "turning its thoughts to its 2009 driver lineup".
"The time has come to try and find a suitable replacement for Vettel," Toro Rosso principal Franz Tost said.
Not all is about new beginnings at the Red Bull/Toro Rosso garages, however. Retiring grand prix veteran David Coulthard may relinquish his seat at Red Bull Racing before the end of the 2008 season.
According to the latest whisper in formula one circles, the 37-year-old Scot would hand over to Vettel after Monza, thereby creating an early vacancy alongside Sebastien Bourdais at Toro Rosso.
The Ferrari-powered team would then be free to trial teenager Buemi, Super Aguri refugee Sato, or any other 2009 candidates - perhaps Bruno Senna - at the final four races of the season.
In terms of the current constructors' championship, however, the rumor makes little sense.
STR's Vettel was the star of the recent Valencia race, collecting three points for sixth place, but the team sits just ninth out of the ten teams -- three and six points respectively behind Honda and Williams. (GMM)