Sam Smith examines yesterday's shock news that Amlin and Super Aguri are set to split from each other after just one season of Formula E competition.
Pardon the pun, but the news that Amlin and Super Aguri Formula E are about to split was a bolt from the blue. The popular team, famed for its eye-catching electric-blue livery and highly accessible approach to going Formula E racing, seemed to have a huge amount of potential.
Headed by former Super Aguri F1 chiefs Mark Preston and Peter McCool, the outfit has performed above most people’s expectations in its first season, securing a highly-merited win with Antonio Felix da Costa in Buenos Aires.
The team is, after all, the only true ‘start-up’ squad that Formula E has fostered.
With a progressive plan of sustained engineering enhancements planned for season two using the existing Spark/McLaren/Williams technical package, the team appears to be in prime position to capitalise on its solid first season in Formula E. This, allied to da Costa being strongly tipped to sign up for a second season, should mean the key elements are in place for the team to exploit its consistent technical package.
This becomes more relevant in season two as the team is believed to be only entity that will keep the proven technical package, whereas the relatively untried systems that are planned to be raced by the eight ‘manufacturers’ in season two, are likely to go through teething phases at best.
Popular combination, so why split?
Amlin Aguri is popular with media and fans alike, and they are among the most vibrant and engaging on social media platforms across the innovative new FIA Formula E series.
So what has driven this split? Why is Amlin seeking out?
Motorsport.com understands that Amlin may have cited several criteria to break away from SAFE Ltd and to then embark upon another team partnership, details of which are likely to emerge shortly.
SAFE Racing Ltd is believed to have fought the attempted extrication from the deal with Amlin, and this week’s court injunction then triggered emergency negotiations to find a way forward for season two and beyond. The injunction itself was essentially thrown out of court on Wednesday.
It remains unclear what the next moves in this saga will be, but it is a likely sorry end to what looked to be a bright and progressive future together.
A significant number of Amlin guests are planning to attend the race this weekend. There is sure to be an unusual and tense atmosphere in their pitbox after Motorsport.com broke the news of the impending divorce.
Amlin’s popular 'comedy Twitter cat' could fight to retain its sense of humour throughout the weekend, a little like he appeared to yesterday when we broke our story…