DECEMBER 19, 2005

Super Aguri to get an entry

Our spies tell us that a deal has been struck to allow Super Aguri F1 to get its entry in the World Championship. There are no details of the deal but clearly pressure has been applied (one might say pressure and/or enticement) to MF1 Racing, which was not keen to sign. There will also have been pressure on Honda from a political point of view to get an agreement through. In the fullness of time we will no doubt see the fall-out of the negotiations that have been going on but it seems that Super Aguri will be on the grid in Bahrain although the team is likely to be firmly at the rear as it intends to go into the new season using revamped 2002 chassis, built by Arrows. In order for these to meet the current crash-test regulations they will have to be beefed up and so in addition to being out of date will also be overweight. However the intention is for the team to introduce its own chassis at the start of the European season. This is still going to be an enormous challenge but much work has already been done to transform Leafield back into a F1 facility and to get the project moving. Many of the people involved worked at Arrows, notably project coordinator Daniele Audetto, technical leader Mark Preston, designer Paul Bowen and managers Kevin Lee, Wayne Humphries and Mick Ainsley-Cowlishaw. The team already has more than 60 people working plus 50 engineers at Honda R&D in Japan.