2008: Super Aguri

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Takuma Sato, Super Aguri, Silverstone, 2007 | Ian McWilliamsThey’ve hardly tested at all, and when they did they ran out of parts.

They’ve cancelled tests, launches and media briefings. Team boss Aguri Suzuki has flown to Japan for crisis talks.

Super Aguri have said today they will be on the grid at Melbourne, but they face a race against time.

As I write this, two weeks before the first practice session of 2008 is due to get underway, it’s not clear whether Super Aguri will be racing.

In my head I wrote off their prospects of staying in Formula 1 a few weeks ago when Max Mosley openly admitted F1 might lose them. I sincerely hope we’ll get word shortly that this won’t be the case – and not just because of how pitiful F1 would look with a 20-car grid.

I want to see Super Aguri racing in 2008 because they’re a charming yet feisty outfit. They got their 2006 programme together at barely a few months’ notice, and by the end of the season looked like a respectable team.

Last year they scored hard-earned points and came very close to beating parent team Honda. I’d hate to think that has anything to do with their current predicament.

As for the drivers, last year Takuma Sato mixed inspiration (passing Fernando Alonso at Montreal) with inexplicable blunders (spinning off and getting a penalty at Indianapolis) and you have to wonder, after five years of F1, whether he’s ever going to wean himself off the latter.

Anthony Davidson showed promise but was unlucky – the same has been said of many drivers who joined small teams before being replaced by someone with money. Sadly, this scenario is probably the most likely way of this situation being resolved. Honda may want Davidson in the car, but if they were ready to put up the money to guarantee it wouldn’t this mess have been sorted by now?

Keep your fingers crossed for this tiny, quirky, characterful team.

Photo copyright: Ian McWilliams

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