DECEMBER 1, 2005

Super Aguri F1 is missing

The FIA Formula 1 World Championship entry list does not include the new Super Aguri F1 team, which will come as a major blow to Honda, which had been hoping to get the team up-and-running in 2006.

The planned new team is coming together at Leafield with a staff of around 60 people working on the programme which, as we have already suggested, was going to start with the old 2002 Arrows chassis before building its own cars ready in time for the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola on April 23.

The problem appears to have come about because of the need to pay the FIA a bond of $48m. Our spies tell us that the money had not arrived in the time available and that means that the team is not on the list. There may be a procedure by which the team could be allowed to compete if the other 10 teams agree to sign to let another competitor join in but it is hard to imagine why the teams at the back of the grid would agree to such a thing as they would be creating a rod with which to beat themselves.

The only comparable case was back in 1993 when Williams did not appear on the entry list despite being World Champions. This was the result of the team missing the deadline for its application to the World Championship by one day. This forced Williams to try to get all the other teams to agree to let the team compete. Benetton and Minardi refuse to sign but eventually a compromise was found.