Make or break – is the nature of the trip to Japan Aguri Suzuki embarked on ? Perhaps not. According to the news reports Aguri Suzuki travelled to Japan to hold talks with Honda the future of his financially troubled team. The latest reports coming from Japan suggest some news on the short term future of Super Aguri may be out during this weekend.
There are 2 possible reasons for these talks:
a) Despite all the efforts from Aguri Suzuki there are no new backers, sponsors or investors in sight and therefore Honda may have to foot most of the Super Aguri bill. Suzuki needs to find out how much of financial support and for how long he may count on.
b) More likely scenario is that Suzuki has several bids for the team on the table but they are either not very acceptable to him (perhaps asking for more he is prepared to offer) or the conditions of the investors may not be acceptable to Honda (like the demand for race seat for Narain Karthikeyan from Spice Group).
I expect some solution that will keep Super Aguri on the grid this year to come out of these talks. What kind of solution it will be likely depends on how much can Honda compromise and how they see the long term future of Super Aguri. If Honda’s plans with Aguri do not extend beyond 2008, they may simply pay the bills this year and give Suzuki free hand in making any deals with any investors, buyers or sponsors from 2009 onwards. If their plans are long term but do not include paying all the bills, they may have to compromise right now. This would mean accepting some of the conditions the prospective backers may have even if Honda is not too comfortable with them.
I however already feel sorry for Super Aguri in 2008. No matter what will come out of the talks it looks like they will end up stuck with Honda RA107 car …
UPDATE – No deal has been concluded yet in Japan and Super Aguri will miss the final round of tests in Japan. The talks between Aguri Suzuki, Honda and apparently also some potential investors still continue. Despite missing the final test the team seems to continue the preparations for the Australian GP.