Honda has claimed to be 'disappointed' by Aguri Suzuki's decision to pull the plug on his ailing Super Aguri F1 team, but admitted that it was inevitable given the operation's current circumstances.

Maintaining its stance that it was not prepared to continue to prop the team up financially, the Japanese giant issued a statement saying that the collapse of the deal with potential rescuer Magma had effectively spelt the end of the road for Super Aguri.

"The Super Aguri F1 team has been offering dreams to the Formula One fans as a Japanese team," the missive from Tokyo read, "Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson have also contributed through their rich talent, persistent efforts and fighting spirit.

"Honda has been supporting the Super Aguri F1 team by supplying engines and financial support, amongst others, since its establishment in 2005. Especially since 2007, we have been deeply involved in discussions together with the team to find sponsors and partners.

"At the beginning of the 2008 season, when the team started negotiations with the strong candidate Magma Group, Honda has actively co-operated by proposing many forms of support. Just when we thought the three groups have reached an agreement, we were told that Magma and their financial backers had decided not to pursue the deal.

"Honda has continued to support the team as much as possible, but Aguri Suzuki has come to Honda and expressed his decision to withdraw from Formula One as he is not capable of establishing a foundation for independent operation of the team.

"The Super Aguri F1 team's withdrawal is indeed very disappointing for us, but we understand that it was inevitable unless the team could find a way to stand alone by itself in the future.

"We would like to express our thankfulness to the Super Aguri F1 team and all the fans who have supported them for sharing the dreams and fighting together with Honda."

The statement does not make clear whether or not Honda intended to approve the last-ditch rescue bid by German automotive engineering company Weigl, which was to have been discussed with Honda today, but Suzuki himself admitted that the proposals had probably come together to late in the day.

"We simply ran out of time to put together a deal with Weigl," the team boss said, "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'm exhausted and definitely need a break. It's a piranha club and I kind of feel that I don't want to stick my fingers back in...."

Suzuki thanked Honda and tyre partners Bridgestone, but reserved some venom for the man in charge of Honda's 'works' F1 operation, Nick Fry. The Briton had been instrumental in having SAF1 barred from entering the paddock at Istanbul Park this past weekend, and has often spoken negatively against rescuing the minnow.

"I don't understand how suddenly Nick Fry needs to be commenting on everything," Suzuki told Reuters, "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."


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