Despite Aguri Suzuki revealing yesterday that his embattled Formula 1 team is in further discussions to safeguard its increasingly precarious-looking future within the sport, parent company Honda has suggested any talk of the squad's survival being assured is somewhat premature.

Super Aguri announced that it was in the advanced stages of negotiations with the German Weigl Group AG, in an eleventh hour deal that Suzuki said included an 'agreement for a substantial shareholding of the Formula 1 team' and one that would 'allow [the team] to race for the foreseeable future' [see separate story - click here].

Honda, however, have hinted that the deal is far from a certainty, and Reuters claims Takuma Sato and Antony Davidson's cars are still being held at Super Aguri's Oxfordshire factory and have not yet been shipped to Istanbul. Other teams sent their cars direct from the Circuit de Catalunya to catch a ferry from Trieste in northern Italy for the three-day trip, with official scrutineering for the fifth grand prix of the 2008 campaign to be held on Thursday, 8 May.

"I am aware that Aguri Suzuki is continuing to look for an investor and we wish him well," Honda CEO Nick Fry told the international news agency. "Since we have been looking for a partner for over a year, unfortunately, it would seem unlikely that someone appropriate is going to appear in the next 48 hours.

"It would appear unlikely that a company the size of Weigl is able to support a competitive Formula 1 team, unless of course there are other partners of which we have not been made aware."

Super Aguri are believed to be in as much as $100 million debt to Honda for engines and technical support, and it is just such a prospect that allegedly scared off previous potential investors Dubai International Capital - fronted by the British Magma Group - who by pulling the plug on their agreement with the small Leafield-based concern plunged SAF1 into crisis ahead of last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.

Honda have recently underlined they are no longer willing to continue to bail Super Aguri out of trouble, with suggestions the latter was only able to compete in Barcelona with the Japanese manufacturer's financial assistance.

Suzuki met senior Honda figures in Tokyo on Wednesday in a last-ditch effort to keep the cash-strapped team afloat, and there will be a further meeting next week, as not all of the board had been in attendance due to a national holiday.

Whilst both Sato and Davidson have insisted they are forging ahead with their usual preparations, the chances of Super Aguri racing in Turkey in just a week's time do not look good.

Comments

Loading Comments...