Super Aguri could run old Arrows cars

The Japanese Super Aguri team seeking to enter Formula One with Honda engines next year is negotiating to buy four-year-old Arrows cars from former Minardi boss Paul Stoddart

Super Aguri could run old Arrows cars

"We are negotiating with them, it's the only thing that makes sense given the time scale that they have got," the Australian told Reuters on Wednesday.

"It (running the Arrows cars) is something that is very, very do-able and the car would be able to run in Bahrain," added Stoddart.

"Any other option is either against the Concorde Agreement or very difficult to achieve."

Stoddart bought five Arrows A23 cars and most of that team's equipment in 2003 when his now-defunct rivals folded. Although he has since sold Minardi to Red Bull, he kept the Arrows chassis and intellectual property rights.

The cars were designed mostly by Mike Coughlan, who is now at McLaren.

Super Aguri, run by Japan's former Formula One racer Aguri Suzuki, have taken over the old Arrows factory at Leafield in central England and are recruiting staff for what would be Formula One's 11th team.

They are expected to run Japan's Takuma Sato after he lost his drive at Honda-backed BAR and have made a formal application to enter the 2006 Championship.

The season starts in Bahrain on March 12.

V10 Engines

Honda, who bought BAR from founders British American Tobacco this year and will change that British-based team's name for 2006, have agreed to provide Suzuki's team with engines and technical support.

However, under the confidential 'Concorde Agreement' governing Formula One, teams must compete with their own car and not one designed or manufactured by another existing entrant.

Minardi toyed with the idea of running the Arrows themselves in 2003 and Stoddart said that the Cosworth-powered cars were already up to that year's specification and it would take little to develop them to 2005 levels.

"We (Minardi) were running an '02 car up to Imola '05," said the Australian, attending Minardi's final test at Italy's Vallelunga circuit near Rome. "We didn't change an awful lot on it in that period."

The engine rules are changing for 2006, with the V10 units replaced by V8s. However teams can continue using restricted V10s, although the manufacturers have said they will not do so.

"If they (Super Aguri) go V10, they can compensate for any shortcomings in the chassis and it gives them a year to design their own car," said Stoddart.

"To put a Honda V10 into the back of that chassis is very do-able," he added. "It would be an interim car and if they used a V10 they would be credible."

Honda Racing Development president Yasuhiro Wada said on Tuesday that a V10 running with the proposed restrictor would be more powerful than one of the new V8s at present and expected modifications to be made.

"Every engine manufacturer agrees the proposed restrictor size isn't correct and we believe the FIA will apply a fairer equivalent," he said.

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