FEBRUARY 29, 2008
Super Aguri says it will be in Melbourne
Fumio Akita, Aguri Suzuki's partner in the Super Aguri F1 operation, says that the team will be in Melbourne, despite fears that the organisation could go out of business. Akita admits that the team is scrambling to get things ready in time for the Australian GP but said that the same was true a year ago.
There has been talk for some time about possible rescue packages for the team but there seems to be only one that is serious and acceptable to Suzuki'a primary backer Honda. The car firm has been loaning Suzuki money in recent months but is now making it clear that it wants to be repaid and this means that Suzuki and his people need to find a buyer who is not only willing to take on the debt but also to invest in the manufacturing facilities that are needed for the team to be able to continue to compete in F1 as all teams must be bona fide constructors by the start of 2010. Finding such a backer is obviously not easy and from what we hear it is impossible unless Suzuki is willing to sell the whole team. While losing Aguri Suzuki might result in the loss of Honda engines, there is believed to be a contract for five years in place and with the cuts in engine development, the supply of an extra team is probably something that Honda would like to see as it will increase feedback.