Fry denies involvement in Aguri collapse

Honda Racing CEO Nick Fry has hit back at claims he went out of his way to ensure Super Aguri did not continue in Formula One

Fry denies involvement in Aguri collapse

Fry spoke out in public ahead of crunch meetings between Aguri Suzuki and the Honda board in Japan, saying he was sceptical about the success of a proposed rescue-bid by the Weigl Group.

He was also at the centre of claims that Super Aguri's trucks were barred from entering the paddock at Istanbul last weekend after he told Bernie Ecclestone the team would not be racing in Turkey.

Fry's influence in the situation did not impress Suzuki, who criticised him in a farewell press conference in Tokyo last week.

"I don't understand how suddenly Nick Fry needs to be commenting on everything," said Suzuki. "Honda were our backers and he's not the CEO of Honda. I have no interest in Nick Fry whatsoever and have no idea what he was talking about."

Franz Josef Weigl, the boss of the Weigl Group, went even further in interviews with the German media, where he suggested Fry had done everything he could to scupper Super Aguri's chances of being saved.

But Fry has denied the allegations against him, and insists that there was never a realistic chance of Super Aguri surviving once a proposed buyout by the Magma Group had collapsed.

When asked for his reaction to Suzuki and Weigl's claims, Fry said: "I think that...is completely unrealistic.

"The reality is that when you looking at entering grand prix racing, you have to look at the medium and long-term, as well as the short-term. I think Mr. Mateschitz (Red Bull owner) has been quoted as saying that when you buy a team, that is when your problems really start.

"The reality is for Aguri, we were looking for a serious long-term partner and that takes very substantial resources. The one that we hoped would come to fruition was the Magma/DIC deal, but unfortunately that didn't."

Fry also denied that he had directly influenced Ecclestone in preventing Super Aguri's trucks from entering the paddock in Istanbul.

"Bernie has been fully informed about what has been going on from the start, as you would expect from a person who is promoting the whole event. Obviously I think it would be presumptuous in the extreme for people to think I have control over who gets into the paddock.

"But Bernie was aware of what was going on, and made his own decision. Once you get things into the paddock, from a logistical point of view it can get difficult (to move things around).

"You can understand him wanting to wait until a decision had been made before allowing people to set up."

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