Super Aguri : buyout / collapse

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Post Sun May 04, 2008 4:38 pm

Bob Brown wrote:well, looks like Nick Fry indeed has "cockblocked" Super Aguri.

The fans will turn on him.


Yes, this is beginning

to look very messy indeed. (Super Aguri denied access to Istanbul) Why and how would Fry/Honda be able to dictate whether Super Aguri has a right to enter and set up in Istanbul's paddock anyway? Pffft. I bet it's not their place to do so, but provided that things go through certain channels before all is cleared up it might be too late for SA to participate. Even in this case I can see FIA/FOM clear SA of any possible forfeiture penalties, because a) it won't be their fault b) Bernie wants SA to carry on (possibly being in the know about long term plans for the team).

So now it's a game of chicken between F1 and Honda: Does Mr. Ecclestone value the newfound future and the newfound backers of Super Aguri more than Honda's presence in F1? F1 has Toyota anyway and even if there weren't a big name manufacturer in the backround (atm), this would open a way in for Tata, Hyundai, GM or VW/Porsche anyway. Can Honda afford to be seen shying away from competition in this fashion, almost a civil war between the two teams? Can it be seen to work against the status of F1 as the open wheel series with the most diverse base of participants by sabotaging potential entrants? The statements and actions of Nick Fry thus far are really so drastic I very much doubt he'd have become some sort of a rogue agent acting solely on his own behalf - if that were the case, his company would waste no time in removing him. Maybe he's the "bad cop", "fall guy" or "scapegoat" in all this.

Besides, FJ Weigl himself has implied that he's ready and willing to work with both Honda and Takuma Sato in the long term. (Weigl confident that his company is the "perfect match" for Super Aguri) He has a very convincing argument and he makes it well in the Pitpass article. There's one particularly interesting passage that drew my attention.

Pitpass in its article wrote:"The decision is now in Honda's hands", says Weigl. The issue, though, is not a foregone conclusion. Weigl's firm is not sure at the moment that the offer will be accepted at the Honda board meeting because it is understood that with the previous take over they wanted Magma to pay back the debt to Honda at once, while the difference with Weigl's offer is that the debt will be paid back over three years.


Three years is an interesting figure both in a business and in a sporting sense. It reveals a timeframe in which Weigl expects to see return for investment; the team would be free of its Honda commitment (should it choose so) at the start of the 2012 season ... and that, of course, by all projections is an interesting point in history for F1. The costly incremental transitionary phase should be largely over and a new more sustainable format should've emerged. A time as good as any for a team to step in the ring. At this time, Honda will either have proven its capacity as an engine/recovery system provider or not and they can look at the situation from a more equal footing. As it should be between two F1 teams in a sporting environment.
"In theory there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is." - Yogi Berra
checkered
 
Joined: 2 Mar 2007

Post Sun May 04, 2008 6:44 pm

pitpass wrote
Although estimates differ, the ballpark figure is around $100m. As Pitpass reported recently, a reliable source claims that the money is secured on the factory, cars and other equipment, and if Super Aguri can't pay the
money back, Honda GP gets the team.


This looks like Honda legally used the F1 team company to hand the money to Super Aguri. So now Fry is the debtor and has a claim on the assets that were used as collateral. This is indeeed very messy. Fry can finish SA for whatever privat reasons he has and simply say it is his fiduciary duty to the Honda share holders and to his company to do so.

I must say that I start to dislike the guy more than I ever have. So far I thought he is just a failure as a team principal. BAR had a pretty good form when Dave Richards was ousted by Honda. Fry managed it to the depth of a bottomless pitt. The team became the laufghing stock of thr pit lane for being beaten by Super Aguri. When Honda brought in Ross Brawn I thought that Fry would be sidelined or even dismissed for his failures. far from it he apparently got the job to extract Honda from the Super Aguri adventure by finding a buyer. he messed that job up as well.

And now he openly tries to destroy SA. What a sorry failure is this man!!
Formula One's fundamental ethos is about success coming to those with the most ingenious engineering and best .............................. organization, not to those with the biggest budget. (Dave Richards)
WhiteBlue
 
Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Location: WhiteBlue Country

Post Sun May 04, 2008 8:29 pm

WhiteBlue wrote:This looks like Honda legally used the F1 team company to hand the money to Super Aguri. So now Fry is the debtor and has a claim on the assets that were used as collateral. This is indeeed very messy. Fry can finish SA for whatever privat reasons he has and simply say it is his fiduciary duty to the Honda share holders and to his company to do so.


In this case much

hinges on the terms of that debt and how (if anyhow) Super Aguri has already forfeited its commitments. Any way one looks at it, the leash has been very short on Honda's part in an arrangement very unbecoming of the nature of Formula One. My heart really goes out to Aguri Suzuki and the rest of the team, they took on a mighty challenge and certainly performed their debt's worth - and better. While the inception of the team had a face-saving element for Honda, Super Aguri certainly was and is in no moral debt to have less success than their manufacturer "partner".

Furthermore, shooting the team down now will result in nothing less than removing the least bit of rationale from supporting Aguri Suzuki's vision in the first place. Apart from being akin to throwing countless millions to waste and admitting a strategic miscalculation of huge proportions (which it still won't be if SA is to continue), it will happen in a most public fashion resulting in a terrible and probably costly PR disaster as well. Not many teams are sympathised with more than Super Aguri is, it is almost universal. Whatever Honda GP's legal position is in relation to Super Aguri and whether Nick Fry is the executor of that relationship or not, for the World of me I cannot imagine the final decision on this laying solely in his hands.

To punish Aguri Suzuki for showing initiative in saving face for Honda is inconceivable, even more so when the Magma/DIC deal unravelled. I see no other bidders around, so it is fair to say that he saved the day and put together a viable package which will ensure Honda a significant role with the team for the next three years - and possibly some additional technology synergies as well. Normally cause for congratulations, a sizable bonus and a promotion. Compare this with having to write off losses amounting to $100M and the ramifications of that. Incidentally, much has been made of just that amount of money in F1 recently. Incredible.
"In theory there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is." - Yogi Berra
checkered
 
Joined: 2 Mar 2007

Post Sun May 04, 2008 10:14 pm

I hate to say it - RIP Super Aguri
Before I do anything I ask myself “Would an idiot do that?” And if the answer is yes, I do not do that thing. - Dwight Schrute
Giblet
 
Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Location: Downtown Canada

Post Mon May 05, 2008 2:34 am

Giblet wrote:I hate to say it - RIP Super Aguri



Is Fry just the delivery boy of bad news or might he be trying to drive a stake through Aguri's heart? Last year Aguri beat Honda on a few occasions and made a bad situation look worse. Could Nick be torpedoing any of these financial rescue deals so he isn't shown up. It doesn't look good for him. 2004 was a banner year with numerous podiums, second to Ferrari in the constructor's championship, and a pole or two. Then inexplicably they fired Dave Richards and it has been straight down hill ever since. If anything comes of the 2009 car it will be down to the new rules and Ross Brawn. So I think Nick has very little to show for his tenure. Aguri only accents this.

On the other hand, Honda is on the mend. They have points already. They got to Q3 once. Aguri reportedly owes Honda $100M and this year they look to be permanently at the back row behind the rehashed aging Force India cars. Of course we all knew it was coming since the RA107 was such a dog last year, how much could we expect of its derivative this year?

So, is it Fry, the money, both, neither. And do any of these rescue plans address the debt? I know it is very bad to miss a race. When Arrows was going throught its final throes in 2002, they showed up for a race or two, ran half heartedly in qualifying and then called it a day. It was all designed to satisfy the FOM or the FIA which has an extraordinarily punitive fine in place for missing a race. If Fry/Honda/whoever succeed in preventing Aguri from racing in Turkey, then it is likely all over.

And we must also consider the fact that Nakijima and the Toyota Williams is swamping the sad sack Sato Honda in domestic Japanese popularity, and on the track.
Innovation over refinement is the prefered path to performance. -- Get rid of the dopey regs in F1
gcdugas
 
Joined: 19 Sep 2006

Post Mon May 05, 2008 4:47 am

If SA goes away, so does Fry!
How else will Honda survive the PR backlash?
Sato goes back to Honda and Fry be gone within a month of SA's demise.
Honda should invest in Aguri and fire Fry now.
Aguri gets results, Fry doesn't.
clean air
 
Joined: 5 May 2008

Post Mon May 05, 2008 6:07 pm

Auto Motor Sport in Germany has the next installment of their background report on the SA saga

http://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/spor ... _13987.hbs

according to this report Fry allready tried to kill off the Weigl initiative before Barcelona by pretending to revive the Magma deal and simultaneously cutting SA off the cash needed for the race. that time SA only survived because Weigl send the cash without any title to keep things going.

Weigl apparently never talked to Fry and has conducted all his contacts through Otmar Szafnauer who is a genuine racing man and has been the negotiator for Honda in all regulation issues with the teams and the FIA. Szafnauer and Fry are like cat and dog and Fry will do anything to frustrate the Weigl bid to hurt Szafnauer.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

this story reinforces my believe that Fry is completely useless and Honda should get rid of him ASAP. They should rather give Brawn a good financial and commercial director who can bring in some needed sponsorship that Fry always failed to secure. the longer this man is allowed to ruin the team the more damage he does.
Formula One's fundamental ethos is about success coming to those with the most ingenious engineering and best .............................. organization, not to those with the biggest budget. (Dave Richards)
WhiteBlue
 
Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Location: WhiteBlue Country

Post Tue May 06, 2008 8:43 am

It's all over, Super Aguri is no more........

http://www.saf1.co.jp/en/topics/2008/nws_080506.html

:cry:
meves
 
Joined: 22 Oct 2007

Post Tue May 06, 2008 8:47 am

Shocking news, not sure if I have fully accepted it yet so I will wait until sunrise today(Tuesday) to verify the actual truthfulness to what I'm about to share...

And according to Aguri-san, one of the leading reasons for Super Aguri's withdrawal of the 2008 Championship is because of 'SS United's' breach of contract...

What the heck happened to the deal with Weigl? And since SA is withdrawing from the 2008 Championship, does that mean that they may return in 2009? That's kind of what I understood (although I am trying to be very very optimistic after learning of their withdrawal).
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mx_tifoso
 
Joined: 30 Nov 2006
Location: North America

Post Tue May 06, 2008 9:04 am

Honda as a parent has enough issues at the moment, their profits are through the floor.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iSIJadLZegWcUgUfp27EgI9sxJTwD908QERG0

I would guess that they just could not afford to sustain investing that amount of money and as for Weigl, they have investors but with the credit market shutting down the way it is a lot of companies are very skeptical of investors currently.

The other thing that may have happened is that Honda may have exchanged some debt for shares in the company which gave them the right to block them from paddock entry.

It's a sad day and I would have loved to see them carry on, also it's another PR disaster for Honda which keeping Aguri out of the paddock hasn't made any better. My only wonder is if someone wants to buy up the crumbs and bring it back next year, I really hope that is the case as I'd love to see a 24 car grid but I guess it's unlikely.
meves
 
Joined: 22 Oct 2007

Post Tue May 06, 2008 9:21 am

freedom_honda
 
Joined: 23 Jul 2007

Post Tue May 06, 2008 10:03 am

This is the flip side of the rigid policies that hard liners like Williams have set. they came into F1 with a purchased car and used their political power to stop others doing it. with a better solution to the customer car issue all of this would not have happened. what a sad day! It certainly is the wrong Honda team that went under.
Formula One's fundamental ethos is about success coming to those with the most ingenious engineering and best .............................. organization, not to those with the biggest budget. (Dave Richards)
WhiteBlue
 
Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Location: WhiteBlue Country

Post Tue May 06, 2008 10:14 am

I say, good riddance to one of the most coddled teams in F1 history.
bhall
 
Joined: 28 Feb 2006

Post Tue May 06, 2008 10:25 am

:| I saw this coming, yet I was sure they would be saved somehow... It's strange I feel like I've read someone from F1 died. A whole team is no more...

Aguri Suzuki is the new Alain Prost.
vyselegend
 
Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Location: Paris, France

Post Tue May 06, 2008 12:36 pm

Aguri Suzuki wrote:We simply ran out of time to put together a deal with Weigl. Magma pulled out suddenly, and without any explanation, and since then I have been flying all over the world talking to other companies but was unable to secure a deal. Financially it was just impossible to continue in F1 with the enormous budgets needed today. We did reach a basic agreement with Weigl but were always battling against time. I don't understand how suddenly Nick Fry needs to be commenting on everything. Honda were our backers and he's not the CEO of Honda. I have no interest in Nick Fry whatsoever and have no idea what he was talking about.


Nick Fry screwed you. very simple. he stole your opportunity with Weigl by pretending a deal with Magma was still possible. All he wanted was kill your team. what a sorry failure of a man.

Weigl was devastated

Franz-Josef Waigl wrote: This is a real shame. Nick Fry has done everything to prevent our deal from succeeding. It did not happen the way that I approached Super Aguri. They come to see me and asked me: "Can you help us". Then Mr. Fry and Mr. Leach from Magma have interfered.
Formula One's fundamental ethos is about success coming to those with the most ingenious engineering and best .............................. organization, not to those with the biggest budget. (Dave Richards)
WhiteBlue
 
Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Location: WhiteBlue Country

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