Following a successful winter testing programme for the Super Aguri F1 Team, Team Principal Aguri Suzuki and race drivers Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson unveiled the team's 2007 challenger in the F1 Paddock at the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne, Australia today.
The SA07 is a continuation of the development process which began in haste last year for the team's first challenger, the SA05. As the team is a mere 15 months old each iteration of the car is a significant step forward. The SA07 is a result of the past eight months collaboration between the SAF1 Team Design Department lead by Chief Designer Peter McCool and Honda's R&D centre in Tochigi, Japan. The team's winter test program has allowed them to validate a number of design concepts and to test the increased reliability of the new power-train provided by Honda.
The new homologated Honda engine is a major step forward in power and reliability for the SAF1 Team. It will increase the team's performance and provide a competitive engine for this period of new rules and stability. A carbon gearbox is now part of the package from Honda which will allow more flexibility in weight distribution and increased integration, bringing with it the added benefits of reliability.
One of the biggest challenges in the production of the SA07 most recently has been the FIA crash tests. Substantial changes had to be made to the nosebox design and presented the team's aerodynamicists with a hard task when it came to the rear central diffuser design. A great deal of time has been spent researching ways into which the team could minimise the effect that the rear impact structure had on rear downforce. The combination of aerodynamic efficiency driven by the V8 formula and the control Bridgestone Potenza tyres has resulted in efficient rear downforce being a key focus for 2007.
Winter testing has provided the SAF1 Team with a significant amount of data on the characteristics of the new Bridgestone Potenza tyres and this will ensure that the team approaches each race with more preparation than in 2006. With such a good step forward for 2007, the team's aim is to cement its membership in the exclusive F1 competition and strive to achieve its first points through more comprehensive preparation for the season. Increased reliability combined with a good understanding of the tyre and aerodynamic challenges of the 2007 rules will be the key strength of the Super Aguri F1 Team.
Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal "The winter testing period has been very good for SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM. We have been able to complete most of the things that we had planned to do, including the evaluation of the reliability of new parts for the SA07. There are many things that we were not able to do due to time and resources, but all things considered I am very happy with the car that we have here in Melbourne.
"Takuma has been with us a whole season and now understands the SAF1 Team philosophy, style and people. I believe that with our new car he is going to achieve much more this year. Anthony has been with HRF1 Team as a test driver for five years and brings with him a wealth of experience. Although he has only three F1 race starts under his belt, with his knowledge and experience to technically evaluate the car, I believe that he will perform well.
"Around this time last year we were still struggling to get two cars onto the grid. It was our first year and everything was a new experience for the team. This year we have been able to prepare for the season and everybody is raring to go. I am very much looking forward to seeing Takuma and Anthony working together again and performing their best for SAF1 Team. We will be aiming for points from the opening race and my goal for the end of the season, which I think is a realistic one, is to have our cars in the middle of the grid. I also hope that all our fans cheer for us from the start!"More pictures to follow shortly