Super Aguri future still unclear

Thu, 1 May 2008, 11:11

Super Aguri’s fate has been granted a one-week reprieve after a key meeting with Honda officials in Tokyo was postponed on Wednesday.

It is suggested that while the interest of potential new saviour Weigl Group, a German automotive company, has received the blessing of Bernie Ecclestone, Honda – until now a key team financier – is yet to green-light the deal.

Part of the reason for Honda’s reluctance is that Weigl seems able to initially only stump up a minimal amount of cash, leaving the health of Super Aguri still unclear beyond the end of the 2008 season.

Complicating the negotiations with Weigl, however, was the premature disclosure of the company’s name this week to the media.

The German magazine Auto Motor und Sport cited insiders as suspecting that Honda’s F1 CEO Nick Fry, a close former colleague of the failed buyer Martin Leach (Magma Group) was responsible for the damaging leak to a British online magazine.

Other members of the Honda board in Tokyo were reportedly furious that the Magma deal failed, even though Aguri Suzuki’s curtailed meeting on Wednesday did not result in what some others insiders had suspected — that Honda would simply abandon the Super Aguri team.

Some sources report that the Wednesday meeting was simply inconclusive because so many officials were absent for this week’s string of public holidays.

A full board meeting is scheduled for next week.

One bad sign for the struggling team, however, is that the Super Aguri cars neither travelled to Turkey with most of F1’s other cars this week nor returned to the team’s Leafield base.

Instead, Reuters reports that the cars have in fact turned up at Honda’s Brackley HQ following the Spanish grand prix, although the transporters are in the Italian port of Trieste awaiting the ferry to Istanbul.

Other team members are also planning to travel to Turkey for next weekend’s grand prix there.

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