F1

Super Aguri fate hangs in Spanish GP balance

Super Aguri fate hangs in Spanish GP balance

For Super Aguri, arriving in Barcelona, Spain, for this weekend's Fromula One grand prix appears to be only half the battle. The struggling Formula One team's dependence on Honda, which backed its formation to contest the 2006 season to give...

For Super Aguri, arriving in Barcelona, Spain, for this weekend's Fromula One grand prix appears to be only half the battle. The struggling Formula One team's dependence on Honda, which backed its formation to contest the 2006 season to give Takuma Sato a drive, might be at end. The inability to find other funding could park the team -- perhaps as soon as this weekend.

Super Aguri F1 motorhome.
Photo by xpb.cc.

A statement from Aguri Suzuki, one of a handful of former F1 drivers who have started or run teams, read in part, "Discussions regarding investment are ongoing. However, due to legal conditions, we are unable to expand on, allude to, or provide further details regarding this confidential matter at present."

An expected deal with investors fronted by Magma Group, a collection of mostly former car industry executives, fell through earlier this month. The major money in that group was thought to be from Dubai International Capital, the investment arm of the Middle East nation's government. DIC has sought the past few months to buy Liverpool Football Club off its feuding American owners.

Continued support from Honda, which has supplied engines and technical support, does not seem an option for Super Aguri. Honda team principal Nick Fry told Reuters news agency in Barcelona that Honda has done its bit.

"We've been working as hard as we possibly can to find a solution for Aguri, but at this stage, I'm not overly optimistic," Fry said. "It was never Honda's intention to fully fund two Formula One teams but Honda have been incredibly supportive over the last two years of Super Aguri."

Besides the task of asking investors for the considerable funding required for F1 sponsorship, Super Aguri is in the situation also facing Red Bull offspring Scuderia Toro Rosso, a pending rules change that will require teams to design and build their chassis. Super Aguri and Toro Rosso use chassis manufactured by others. The Toro Rosso team is for sale.

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