Super Aguri Formula One Team has today announced its withdrawal from the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship. Little more than two years after its inauguration by Aguri Suzuki, the team end their racing activities due to financial problems and the troubled relationship with Honda.
Participating in Formula One since the 2006 season, the Team, which scored its first championship points after only 22 races (Spanish Grand Prix, 2007) and finished ninth overall in the 2007 Constructors’ Championship, will cease all activities as of 6th May 2008.
Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal, SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM:
“In order to realize my dream to become an owner of a Formula One Team, I applied for a grid position in the FIA Formula One World Championship in November 2005. Since then, I have participated in the championship for 2 years and 4 months as the SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM, but regretfully I must inform you that the team will be ceasing its racing activities as of today.
The team has competed against the many car manufacturer backed teams and has succeeded in obtaining the first points after only the 22nd race finishing in 9th place overall in the 2007 Constructors’ Championship. However, the breach of contract by the promised partner SS United Group Company Limited resulted in the loss of financial backing and immediately put the team into financial difficulties. Also, the change in direction of the environment surrounding the team, in terms of the use of customer chassis, has affected our ability to find partners.
Meanwhile, with the help of Honda, we have somehow managed to keep the team going, but we find it difficult to establish a way to continue the activities in the future within the environment surrounding F1 and as a result, I have concluded to withdraw from the Championship.
I would like to express my deepest thanks to Honda, Bridgestone, the sponsors, all the people who have given us advise during various situations over the past couple of years all the Team Staff who have kept their motivations high and always done their best, Anthony Davidson who has always pushed to the limit despite the very difficult conditions, Takuma Sato who has been with us from the very start and has always fought hard and led the team and lastly our fans from all over the world who have loyally supported the SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM."
According to some sources, it was Honda Racing F1 CEO, Nick Fry who was the main reason for the team to collapse mid-season. Fry reportedly tried to hold off the Weigl initiative by pretending to revive the Magma deal while simultaneously cutting SA off the cash needed for the race. While a cash injection from Weigl allowed the team to race in Barcelona, Fry eventually got what he wanted and dried Super Aguri of money, resulting to its withdrawal.