Honda’s Fry says Weigl deal ‘unlikely’

Sat, 3 May 2008, 02:24

Honda’s F1 chief executive Nick Fry has poured cold water on hopes that the struggling satellite team Super Aguri is nearing a deal that will secure its future.

Leafield based Super Aguri on Friday said it hoped serious talks with the German company Weigl Group would win the backing of the Honda board, which is understood to be due to meet about the issue next week.

We previously reported that Honda – the struggling team’s creditor, sponsor and technical supplier – was reluctant to accept the Weigl deal because it is neither a complete takeover nor financed in the longer term.

Late on Friday, Fry was quoted as saying by the British news agency Reuters that he is not optimistic about the proposed partial Weigl buyout.

“Since we have been looking for a partner for over a year … it would seem unlikely that someone appropriate is going to appear in the next 48 hours,” he said.

Fry added: “It would appear unlikely that a company the size of Weigl is able to support a competitive formula one team, unless of course there are other partners of which we have not been made aware.”

Weigl CEO Franz Josef Weigl on Friday commented that his company’s bid is backed by “sponsors and partners”, but did not provide further details.

As well as the race for money, Super Aguri also faces a race against the clock to get its cars to Istanbul’s Otodrom venue ahead of scrutineering for the Turkish grand prix.

While most other teams headed for the track directly from Barcelona via the Italian port city of Trieste, Super Aguri’s cars ominously returned to Honda’s Brackley factory, where they remain.

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