CONSTRUCTORS: SUPER AGURI F1
Name: Super Aguri F1
Just before the Japanese Grand Prix in October 2005 Honda announced that it would be supplying its new V8 engines to a second Formula 1 team in 2006. Honda would say only that it was a new team. It gradually emerged that the team would be fronted by former F1 driver Aguri Suzuki as part of his Super Aguri Racing empire.
The team did not have an easy time, missing the deadline to join the championship and having to negotiate with all the other teams to be accepted. There were also problems building a car in the time available but the team cut several corners by acquiring the old Arrows F1 factory at Leafield and taking on a number of people who were involved in an F1 project called Preston Racing, run by a former Arrows engineer Mark Preston. In order to get a car in time for the start of the season the team bought the rights to the 2002 Arrows A23 chassis, which had previously belonged to Minardi boss Paul Stoddart.
The team named Takuma Sato and Yuji Ide to drive but the latter did not last long and was replaced first by Frankc Montagny and then by Sakon Yamamoto. The team struggled badly but even being there in 2006 was a great achievement. The team may not have earned any points but it did garner plenty of respect.
For 2007 the team took on Honda test driver Anthony Davidson to partner Takuma Sato. Aguri Suzuki's first season as a Formula 1 team boss was long and painful, but the team had great spirit and there was improvement when Sato gave the team its first points finishes in Spain and Canada.