Aguri dispatch transporter to Barcelona
|By Simon Strang||Friday, April 18th 2008, 11:23 GMT|
The Super Aguri team have dispatched the first of their transporters to Barcelona for next weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, while remaining optimistic that a financial package can be put in place to overcome the collapse of their planned rescue deal.
Team co-owner Aguri Suzuki confirmed on Wednesday that potential buyers Magma Group pulled out of their takeover bid, leaving Super Aguri short on budget and unclear whether they would have the funds and the spares to compete in Barcelona next weekend.
But a source inside the team told Autosport on Friday that Suzuki remains locked in talks with alternative backers and that he had made 'some steady progress, but was not out of the woods yet.'
Super Aguri's long-term future is likely to remain in doubt until at least early next week, and it seems likely that Honda will be asked to subsidise the team until a new financial package can be put in place.
"I don't think there will be a decision until after the weekend," Super Aguri co-owner Fumio Akita told Reuters on Friday.
"It is likely to be Monday or Tuesday until we hear. It will be very, very tight."
Suzuki agreed a deal with Magma before the start of the season after Honda indicated over the winter that it was no longer prepared to fully fund a B-team in Formula One.
With regulations set to come in to force insisting on teams designing and constructing their own chassis from 2009 onwards, Suzuki set about looking for alternative backers to give the team full independent status.
But Super Aguri's on-track competitiveness has been badly affected by the Magma takeover, with the team completing minimal pre-season testing during the build-up to the Melbourne season-opener.
Since then Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson have been running on limited mileage, and were told to protect the cars over GP weekends to save spares, which are in short supply.
Super Aguri were the only team not present at this week's massive pre-European season test at Barcelona.