F1

Super Aguri may yet make the grid in 2008

The Super Aguri team has recently been plagued by rumours of financial difficulties but at last the team has some good news. The SA08, the team's 2008 car, has gained its official sign-off from the FIA after passing all its mandatory crash tests.

The Super Aguri team has recently been plagued by rumours of financial difficulties but at last the team has some good news.

The SA08, the team's 2008 car, has gained its official sign-off from the FIA after passing all its mandatory crash tests. This is in contrast to the 2007 SA07 which initially failed the FIA tests as the rear of the car was deformed more than the rules allowed.

The team's financial worries are not new, last year the team had to stop development work the middle of the 2007 season and this year the woes continue with the team absent from scheduled test sessions at Valencia.

In addition, Super Aguri has lodged drivers Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson for the 2008 season with the FIA, although both drivers are yet to sign a firm contract.

There are hopes that ongoing talks with investors will bring the team back from the brink.

Last week the Indian consortium fronted by the Telco Spice Group, confirmed that it is interested in buying into Honda-powered team. Fresh rumours of a Russian consortium's interest in the team has also been reported.

This should allow Super Aguri to firm up their driver line up and head into the new season without the financial worries. The problem now is while the other teams are testing and developing their new cars, Super Aguri are being left behind.

Since Super Aguri team was set up by former F1 driver Aguri Suzuki in 2006, the team has had a rocky road to travel.

The team only just made it on to the grid for 2006 after the FIA initially did not approve its entry. It was reported the team failure to produce the required $48 million entry bond on time was the cause. The team continued to develop its cars and its subsequent re-application was successful. The first cars were based on an old Minardi design powered by Honda engines.

The 2006 season was not a successful one as the team suffered 17 retirements, the only high point being a 10th place in Brazil for Takuma Sato.

The 2007 season was no smoother, the team's 2007 entrant was only unveiled just under 48 hours from the start of the first practice session of the Australian Grand Prix.

Despite the team's lack of funds the results were much improved. Retirements were down to just eight in total and Sato managed a superb 6th place at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Team Boss Suzuki participated in 88 F1 races, achieving a 3rd place at the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix. The chances of his team matching his third place this season look very slim though.

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