New Team Set to Run Same Chassis as BAR

The second Honda-powered Formula One team are set to run versions of next year's BAR008 chassis, Autosport-Atlas has learned

New Team Set to Run Same Chassis as BAR

The team are planning to enter F1 in 2006 but, if they fail to reach that target, work will continue for an entry in 2007.

Sources close to the negotiations have told Autosport-Atlas that the team are now likely to have close parity to the BAR team in terms of both cars and engines, despite original suggestions that they would run the 2005 BAR007 car. This is because the new Honda V8 engine will not actually fit into this year's chassis.

It is believed that Honda, who now own the entire BAR team, are planning to sell the design project for next year's BAR008 car to the new outfit, so they can prepare their chassis for 2006. If the plans fall through for next year, then the car can still be used as a basis for their 2007 challenger.

The Concorde Agreement stipulates that Formula One teams must design and build their own car. However, the new team may get around this regulation by purchasing the design plans prior to committing their entry to the 2006 World Championship - so they actually 'own' their design when they become an official F1 outfit.

The actual identity of the team owners has not been confirmed, but there is mounting speculation that investors from Dubai are funding the project, and that it could have title sponsorship from the Emirates airline company.

Sources claim that the investors are linked with the Emirates Group president, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who was involved in the collapsed bid to set up a McLaren junior team. Al Maktoum is the brother of A1 Grand Prix founder Sheik Maktoum bin Hasher bin Maktoum Al Maktoum.

According to speculation, the Emirates Group president tried to buy British American Tobacco's shares in BAR earlier this year but was blocked by Honda because of the Japanese car manufacturer's own plans to take over BAR.

However, Honda are believed to have continued talks with Al Maktoum about the team. This has led to them standing on the verge of getting on the grid for 2006 - with Honda customer engines and Honda-backed Takuma Sato driving.

Although the team may be financed by money from Dubai, it is believed that the cars will be built by Japanese racing car constructor Dome and will be run at the tracks by a small off-shoot operation from Super Aguri, the team set up by former Grand Prix driver Aguri Suzuki that runs in the Indy Racing League and Japanese GTs.

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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