Despite various rescue plans being put forward over the past few months, the Super Aguri F1 team has finally accepted the inevitable and revealed that it is to withdraw from the 2008 Formula One world championship.

Barred from the paddock at Istanbul Park ahead of this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix, the Leafield-based team had hoped that a bid by the Weigl Group would be accepted by Honda in order to remain on the grid, but the situation clearly proved untenable, and team owner Aguri Suzuki was forced to announce that, after two-and-a-bit seasons, his dream was over.

Formed with help from Honda in an effort to keep Japanese favourite Takuma Sato on the grid after he was dropped by BAR-Honda at the end of 2005, Super Aguri F1 made its debut with uprated Arrows chassis, before moving on to its own car, based heavily on those being run by the Honda works team. The hapless Yuji Ide was replaced by the experienced Franck Montagny in a bid to raise the team's development, before the Frenchman was, in turn, dropped for Sakon Yamamoto, as team boss Suzuki attempted to press on with his 'all-Japanese' dream.

Showing improved form with the 2007 pairing of Sato and Anthony Davidson behind the wheel, the team scored its first championship points after only 22 races, at the Spanish Grand Prix, and added more in Canada, to finish ninth overall in the constructors' championship.

However, the knock-on effect of a default in payments by a major sponsor - as well as the u-turn on the use of 'customer cars' - created uncertainty ahead of the 2008 campaign and, despite being linked to several apparently well-heeled suitors, and having the Weigl Group launch a last-ditch rescue bid in the run-up to Turkey, the team officially confirmed that it would cease all activities as of today [6 May 2008].

"In order to realise 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," Suzuki recounted, "Since then, I have participated in the championship for two years and four 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.

"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, [and] all the team staff, who have kept their motivations high and always done their best."


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