Sato pleads for backing from Honda
|By Jonathan Noble||Monday, May 5th 2008, 08:54 GMT|
Takuma Sato has pleaded with Honda chiefs to give Super Aguri the chance to continue in Formula One ahead of crunch talks to decide the future of the team.
Super Aguri are fighting to stay alive, with the Honda board due to decide in the next 48 hours whether or not to accept an rescue proposal put forward by German automotive company the Weigl Group.
And with matters taking on a new urgency after autosport.com revealed that the team's trucks and motor home had been refused access to the Istanbul paddock on Sunday ahead of the next race in Turkey, Sato has asked Honda to give their full support.
"Obviously Honda has always been central to the whole Super Aguri team," Sato said in an interview on his official website.
"We have always worked so closely together and I understand that they are in a difficult position right now due to DIC (Dubai International Capital) letting everyone down at the last minute, but I hope they will be able to continue the fighting spirit and give the team some more time to get the new investment in place.
"We have showed over the past two years how efficient we can be as a very little team and given the chance and support I believe we can be very competitive."
He added: "We need Honda support more than ever now and I am just hoping that they will be able to find a satisfactory solution. Honda are famous for their 'Racing Spirit' and I am sure this will not desert them now."
Sato admits that the team's future is uncertain at the moment, but believes the offer from Weigl is both attractive and serious.
"I met them (Weigl) at the Spanish GP and they have the great passion to get the team over the current difficulties. They do not seem to be scared by the challenge and in that way I would say that they fit our philosophy well and it would be a great partner for the team.
"It is a great compliment to the team that so soon after Magma failed, another investor has come in with a survival plan for the team. It just shows the team has a great reputation."
And despite the current difficulties, Sato says that he is not even thinking of Super Aguri not surviving in F1.
"I really don't want to think too much about this as I need to keep my focus on racing," he said. "It is difficult enough to concentrate on the main job at the moment.
"But having said that, personally I am already looking forward to Suzuka 2009 when the Japanese GP goes back there. I know how important that event will be for Honda, the fans and of course myself.
"The thought of not being there is too impossible to think about. I just want a competitive package so I can challenge to the ultimate performance in front of the thousands of fantastic and loyal fans in Japan and around the world."