F1 grid down to 20 cars, end of Super Aguri F1 team

Super Aguri Spanish GP 2008

The Super Aguri F1 team withdraw from F1 … That is the outcome of the talks between Honda board and Aguri Suzuki. The Weigl proposal was clearly not good enough

Statement from Aguri Suzuki:

“In order to realise my dream to become an owner of a Formula One team, I applied for a grid position in the FIA Formula One World Championship in November 2005. Since then, I have participated in the championship for two years and four months as the Super Aguri F1 Team, but regretfully I must inform you that the team will cease their racing activities as of today.

The team competed against the many car manufacturer-backed teams and have succeeded in obtaining the first points after only the 22nd race finishing in ninth place overall in the 2007 constructors’ championship.

However, the breach of contract by the promised partner SS United Oil & Gas Company resulted in the loss of financial backing and immediately put the team into financial difficulties. Also, the change in direction of the environment surrounding the team, in terms of the use of customer chassis, has affected our ability to find partners.

Meanwhile, with the help of Honda, we have somehow managed to keep the team going, but we find it difficult to establish a way to continue the activities in the future within the environment surrounding F1 and as a result, I have concluded to withdraw from the championship. I would like to express my deepest thanks to Honda, Bridgestone, the sponsors, all the people who have given us advise during various situations over the past couple of years all the Team Staff who have kept their motivations high and always done their best, Anthony Davidson who has always pushed to the limit despite the very difficult conditions, Takuma Sato who has been with us from the very start and has always fought hard and led the team and lastly our fans from all over the world who have loyally supported the Super Aguri F1 Team.”

About a year ago it still looked like 2008 will be a season with 12 teams and 24 cars with expected Prodrive entry. It will now continue with 10 teams and 20 cars only for the first time since beginning of 2006 season. This is the first time since 2002 Prost and Arrows demise that Formula One is loosing a team … Just a year ago (May 13, 2007) Super Aguri scored their first Formula 1 points at Spanish GP (takuma Sato, 8th) and went on to score 3 more 2 races later in Canada (Sato 6th after overtaking Fernando Alonso).

Will anybody pick up the bits and pieces and revive the team or is it gone for good ?

17 Comments Post a Comment
  1. marcNo Gravatar says:

    Whether anyone picks up the piees is entirely up to Honda at this point and doubt very much if they would be inclined to do so.

    It would take someone with very deep pockets AND a resolution to the customer car issue and I can’t see either happening very soon if ever.

    marc’s last blog post..Super Aguri Commits Seppuku

  2. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    I imagine this upset many of us, I believe that the essence of racing in many teams is gone. And maybe Aguri bring a part of the older times back, well, as little manufacturer of course but the purpose of the team was really weak.

    Anyway, Honda’s cheafs decided and there might be no rollback. Now we shall look if somebody take the headquarters in Langley from Super Aguri through some actions. As I think, the possibility is little because many of the components and ideas came from Honda, and I don’t think they shall sell their intellectual property.

    I still think Honda’s main problems are gather good sponsorship partners for themselves, that’s why they were such demanding to any offer for Super Aguri to pay the bills. So I can’t imagine what a problem they might have solved!! I was hopeless to Aguri Suzuki since the beginnig of the season, something smelled that Honda’s decision will come soon. And it came.

    Now that SA is buried what? Teams in the head will turn stronger with it, they shall overtake less slow drivers HAHA But also the main outcoming from this news is the divided interest to remain or not remain customer cars has gone almost! Nobody will have the technology which owns the neighbour, and nobody will own nothing coming from McLaren or Ferrari (excluding the motor sources which are legal). The teams now have less competitors, so the percent of time during a season to appear in TV screens will rise (logically will grow with the top teams and light a bit down the grid), the more time the liveries will seen the more a team can push the sponsors to rise the value of the contract. So it’s clear top teams managers may be satisfied when a competitor disappeared.

    Will come a new Mateschitz or Mallya? I wouldn’t take a iron on the fire, as Agag & Campos said that they haven’t any interest on Super Aguri anymore, but the opportunity can arrive from them or to somebody else.
    I have little imagination to know who can be interested in the parts of a wracked ship, but nowadays anybody can be interested to take something from the Super Aguri team (will it end in eBay auctions?).

    So the contest to become a new Formula One team to complete the grid can be opened again for such ones as David Richards (when he finds out somehow to build his own car), mainly teams as ART which growed in GP2, Campos Grand Prix, iSport or Super Nova, also the great manufacturers related to motorsports as Peugeot, Porsche (they look the eternal candidate), Volkswagen Group, etc. Somebody who would risk some trhousands of millions to the worldwide industry respect and the wealthy sponsorship. Or such people which doesn’t mind to build a F1 team because they have pretty much of pocket money and feel borred during weekends as these petrol magnates in Dubai or Russia or also Chinese greatest indursty groups.

    I think there will be more teams in the next seasons. So one has gone, this leave the doors open that some new come :)

    I’m sad anyway for Super Aguri, drivers were behaving very professional with such stress and work to develop such a ‘stone’ car as the RA107.

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      Anyone who wants to enter F1 will have to build a new car first and that will take time … Am afraid we are stuck with 10 teams and 20 cars for a while … :-(

  3. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    Yeap, but contest to take a place in the grid in the next seasons may be open soon, don’t you think so?

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      I am sure Bernie would love to get more cars on the grid next year, I just can’t see where would they come form. The rules, although not yet finalized, will require brand new chassis and I think nobody brand new in F1 will be able to build anything from the scratch between now and beiginning of 2009 season … Unless someone makes use of the loopholes, takes some chassis from another team, like Toro Rosso from Red Bull for the 2009 season, while it is still sort of semilegal, and then uses that chassis as a base for their own 2010 car …

      the other problem is that as of now there is no Concorde Agreement and the whole F1 now runs on sort of autopilot. Who would wnat to enter into multimilion dollar adventure wiyhout knowing what exactly are the rules of the game …

  4. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    I wonder if Honda’s lack of support is a sign that they are questioning their expense to run in F1. They are spending an outrageous amount of money with little to show, not something Honda has experienced in racing.

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      I think it was more about what they get in return for their money – 1 mediocre midfield team and 1 backmarker… They can’t afford to dilute the resources and effort in 2 directions any more, especially when they wouldn’t be able to use the Super Aguri as their B team any longer …

  5. [...] came May 6, 2008 and the withdrawal of Super Aguri from Formula 1. This is all like the 2002 deja vu. Expectations of full grid for 2002 season thanks to [...]

  6. StewNo Gravatar says:

    I can’t see anyone picking up the team. Anyone interested has seen and heard and read all about the perils of new teams especially in the money department.

    The rest of this year will be 10 teams and I think next year as well.

    It’s too bad.

  7. [...] there will be no Super Aguri, no Takuma Sato , no Anthony Davidson – there will be no shark fin on Toro Rosso yet – there will [...]

  8. [...] Time for another part of F1liveries series – Season 2002 – the season that started with big bang. The season that should have had 12 teams on the grid after Toyota’s entry into F1. But Prost team disapeared just before the season start and the grid was back to 11 teams. Only 10 teams went on to finish the season – Arrows’ last race was Germany… So similar to 2008 … We should have had 12 teams this year (with Prodrive), but now we only have 10 (Super Aguri gone). [...]

  9. [...] rumour source forgot to ask. Anyway, would Honda support another F1 project only few months after pulling the plug on Super Aguri [...]

  10. [...] in Jerez on Wedndesday, Thursday saw the Formula 1 return of Takuma Sato, his first F1 drive since the demise of Super Aguri. Sato may not be the greatest driver F1 has ever seen but he has definitely been very popular, [...]

  11. [...] 2008 season started with 11 teams and 22 drivers on the grid. Unfortunately Super Aguri team folded after only four races and Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson found themselves out of job. These two were however the only [...]

  12. [...] and supporting 2 Formula One teams – Honda and Super Aguri. not being able to find a buyer they pulled the plug on Super Aguri after 4 races. Now one of the biggest spenders in Formula One are about to pull the plug on the entire Formula [...]

  13. [...] is also interesting that these rumours appeared exactly a year after Super Aguri team left Formula One [...]

  14. [...] The 2008 Spanish GP was won by Kimi Raikkonen (his last F1 win so far) ahead of his team mate Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton. 2008 Spanish GP was also the last F1 race for Super Aguri. [...]

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