Super Aguri in doubt for Spanish GP
|By Alastair Himmer
||Friday, April 18th 2008, 08:39 GMT
The Super Aguri team admit their presence at next week's Spanish Grand Prix is in doubt after the collapse of a planned rescue deal.
Potential buyers Magma Group pulled the plug on their takeover earlier this week and the cash-strapped Japanese team could now miss next week's race.
"It's possible," Super Aguri co-owner Fumio Akita told Reuters on Friday. "We were banking on Magma's buyout but they turned it down. It feels like being jilted by a lover.
"Even if we have the money to go to Spain we might not be able to carry on after that. It's impossible to predict what will happen but it could now depend on Honda."
The survival of the team now looks likely to rest on the goodwill of backers Honda.
Honda may be reluctant to provide more funding, however, having said only recently that they would scale down support for former driver Aguri Suzuki's team after the initial announcement of the Magma deal.
Super Aguri, whose main driver is popular Japanese Takuma Sato, have effectively operated as Honda's B-team in their two years in Formula One and the two teams have adjoining garages this season.
But Super Aguri, who barely tested pre-season due to financial constraints, have not joined the other teams in testing at the Circuit de Catalunya this week.
Team sources said the cars and transporters were due to leave early next week for the first race of the year in Europe after the opening three long-haul rounds. Free practice starts on Friday.
"I don't think there will be a decision until after the weekend," Akita said. "It is likely to be Monday or Tuesday until we hear. It will be very, very tight."
Sources at the team's Leafield factory in Britain said they were acting as if it were business as normal until told otherwise.
"We are still preparing the cars to go to Barcelona and are still planning to be there," said one source, who declined to be identified.
The tail-enders, who have the smallest budget in Formula One but have a strong fan base in Japan, finished ninth of the 11 teams in the 2007 season. Sato and Britain's Anthony Davidson have yet to score a point this year.