Teams to meet over customer car row

Formula One team bosses have scheduled talks for this Friday to discuss whether Super Aguri and Scuderia Toro Rosso's plans for 2007 cars are a breach of the sport's regulations, this week's Autosport reveals

Teams to meet over customer car row

Several team principals are upset that the two teams are planning to effectively run customer chassis next season, which is not allowed under the terms of the Concorde Agreement. Both outfits are adamant, however, they are complying with the rules.

As autosport.com revealed last week, Super Aguri look set to run a development version of this year's Honda RA106, while senior sources have told autosport.com that Toro Rosso's STR2 will effectively be the same chassis as Red Bull Racing's but with a different rear end to accommodate the Ferrari engine.

The debut in Barcelona last week of Aguri's interim car, which looks virtually identical to the RA106, has spurned Spyker team boss Colin Kolles into action.

He has circulated a letter to team principals and the FIA detailing the similarities between the Super Aguri and the 2006 Honda chassis.

Although Kolles acknowledges that teams can do whatever they want to in testing, he is concerned that Super Aguri are planning to race a development version of that interim car next season.

Such an action is outlawed under Section 3 of the Concorde Agreement, which states: "A constructor is a person (including any incorporated or unincorporated body) who owns the intellectual property rights to the rolling chassis it currently races, and does not incorporate in such chassis any part designed or manufactured by any other constructor of F1 racing cars except for standard items of safety equipment, providing that nothing in the Schedule 3 shall prevent the use of an engine or gearbox manufactured by a person other than the constructor of the chassis."

Super Aguri argue that their car is not built at Honda's Brackley headquarters, but at the Honda R&D facility in Tochigi, Japan. The intellectual property rights of the RA106 have been transferred from the Honda race team to the Honda Motor Company to allow Aguri to develop the concept.

Kolles, who has organised the talks for this week, is not the only one upset at the situation. Williams co-owner Patrick Head, whose team have considered legal action over the customer car situation, is adamant that chassis sharing is not allowed in 2007.

That much was made clear when a team principals' meeting in Paris on September 18 vetoed the plans.

Head told Autosport: "Max said very clearly at that meeting that this could not happen for 2007. I didn't think it was necessary to add in our objections.

"I think there would have been many other teams who would have objected it being brought forward and the fact nobody else is recorded as having objected is only because Max responded so quickly. That is the last we heard about it.

"I think we'd be more concerned about Toro Rosso running a 2007 Red Bull than about Aguri. But there's been no public declaration of what is intended. Aguri are entitled to run another team's car at Barcelona.

"What is important is what they're going to be running in Melbourne. We'll listen to what is said on Friday."

Super Aguri's managing director Daniel Audetto is convinced that his team are doing nothing wrong, though.

He told Autosport: "It's not a modification, and I repeat what I say. We'll make the best performing car within the existing rules. That is our aim. We want to be as competitive as possible, we will not be very competitive, but our aim is to finish in the top 10.

"We know the rules, we studied the rules, and we have a lot of support from Honda. So therefore we have to take the most advantage we are allowed to take."

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