Super Aguri F1


Super Aguri F1

Former F1 team
Short_name = Super Aguri
Long_name = Super Aguri F1

Base = Leafield, Oxfordshire, UK
Founders = flagicon|Japan Aguri Suzuki
Staff = flagicon|UK Mark Preston
Drivers = flagicon|Japan Takuma Sato
flagicon|UK Anthony Davidson
flagicon|France Franck Montagny
flagicon|Japan Sakon Yamamoto
flagicon|Japan Yuji Ide
Debut = 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix
Races = 39
Cons_champ = 0 (Best result; 9th, F1|2007)
Drivers_champ = 0 (Best result; 17th, Sato, F1|2007)
Wins = 0
Poles = 0
Fastest_laps = 0
Last race = 2008 Spanish Grand Prix

Super Aguri F1 was a Formula One team that competed from F1|2006 to F1|2008. The team, founded by former F1 driver Aguri Suzuki, was based in Tokyo, Japan but operated from the former Arrows factory in Leafield, UK. The cars were referred to as Super Aguri Hondas, with the team functioning to some degree as an unofficial Honda 'B'-team. In Japan, public pressure persuaded Honda to help its former driver Takuma Sato to continue to compete in Formula One. This was influential in the creation of Super Aguri's F1 project and the engine supply from Honda. After participating in the championship for 2 years and 4 months, the team withdrew from F1 after 4 races in the F1|2008 season due to financial difficulties.

Team creation

The team faced a daunting challenge merely to be ready for the first race of the season. Initially, it notified the FIA on November 1 (ahead of the governing body's November 15 deadline) of its intention to enter. However, the FIA's official press release of the entry list for 2006 confirmed that it had not approved Super Aguri's entry: this was reported to be due to the team's failure to produce the required $48 million entry bond on time. [ [http://www.fia.com/mediacentre/Press_Releases/FIA_Sport/2005/December/011205-01.html FIA entry list for 2006] ] [ [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns15985.html Grandprix.com article] ] However, the team re-applied for entry in 2006, and continued to prepare cars for the upcoming season. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/4489686.stm BBC News article] ] Having missed the initial registration, the team needed to convince the existing ten teams to unanimously agree to its entry. It appeared that the Midland team was blocking on the grounds of potentially reduced TV revenue, but it was eventually granted the necessary unanimous agreement and the team's entry was confirmed by the FIA on 26 January 2006. [ [http://www.fia.com/mediacentre/Press_Releases/FIA_Sport/2006/January/260106-01.html FIA Press Release] ]

Racing History

2006

See also: "2006 Formula One season" and "Super Aguri SA05 or Super Aguri SA06"

In 2006, the cars were powered by Honda engines (RA806E 2.4 V8), and used Bridgestone tyres. The chassis, SA05, was based on the 2002 Arrows A23, bought from ex-Minardi principal Paul Stoddart who purchased them when the Arrows team went into receivership. The team had announced plans to produce a new in-house chassis later on in the 2006 season, possibly for the European races, but this never came into fruition. Instead, the team updated their older chassis to become the SA06 - a change which was visible from the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, onwards. [ [http://formula1.updatesport.com/news/article/1145951909/formula_one/F1headlines/Friday-driver-for-Super-Aguri/view.html Formula-1.updatesport.com article] ]

Takuma Sato and Yuji Ide were the initial race drivers for the team in the 2006 season, with Franck Montagny as the third driver. On May 4, after four races, the team announced that Montagny would be replacing Ide as race driver in the European Grand Prix and subsequent races, after Ide's superlicence was revoked after a clash with Christijan Albers

The team made it onto the grid for the start of the season. In its debut race at Bahrain Sato successfully completed the Grand Prix while Ide retired on lap 35 with a mechanical failure and after nearly running over his pit crew. Suzuki deemed this race to be a good test for the team as the car had only done a maximum of 10 laps during pre-season testing. The team's second race (in Malaysia) was little better, with again only Sato finishing the race.

Super Aguri's third race, the 2006 Australian Grand Prix, saw significant improvement. Yuji Ide said, "This is the first time that both Taku and I have finished a race, so I am happy about that." [ [http://www.formula1.com/race/news/4193/753.html Formula1.com article] ] For the European Grand Prix, Yuji Ide and Franck Montagny swapped roles within the team, at the request of the FIA, who felt Ide needed more experience outside of the Grand Prix. This was mostly due to a spectacular collision between him and Midland driver Christijan Albers at the San Marino GP.

As of May 10, 2006 the FIA Permit Office revoked Yuji Ide's Super Licence, thus preventing his return to an F1 seat until at least the 2007 season. Franck Montagny raced until and including the French Grand Prix, and on June 8 2006 Sakon Yamamoto became Super Aguri's third driver. Montagny and Yamamoto swapped roles for the 2006 German Grand Prix, with Yamamoto taking over Super Aguri's second car.

When the updated car (the SA06) was first raced in the German Grand Prix, it managed to impress, with decent qualifying positions (managing to outperform the Midland F1 Team), although failing to finish the race.

The team's improving form culminated with an impressive tenth place at the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix from Sato, whilst Yamamoto set the seventh-fastest fastest lap, less than a second behind most of the points-finishers. [ [http://www.formula1.com/archive/grandprix/fastestlaps/2006/769/8.html Formula1.com data] , retrieved 22 October 2006]

2007

See also: "2007 Formula One season" and "Super Aguri SA07"

Reports suggesting that the team would be using the works Honda chassis of 2006 have come under intense resistance by rival teams Williams and Spyker, who have contested that the practice is against Formula One regulations. [ [http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/56507 Autosport article] , retrieved July 5, 2007] The teams cite the fact that the Concorde Agreement mandates a car may not use any parts designed or constructed by another manufacturer of Formula One cars. Super Aguri (as well as Scuderia Toro Rosso and Red Bull) would seem to be in violation about this. The FIA however does not have the authority to act on the Concorde Agreement without the matter already being resolved in court. However, Super Aguri (as well as the Red Bull teams) have stated that they are in compliance with the sport's regulations, though the matter is still of great contention.cite journal |date=June 28, 2007 |title=Spyker hits out at rival |journal=Autosport |volume=188 |issue=9 |pages=pp. 11]

Super Aguri announced on November 15, 2006 that Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson (previously Honda third and test driver) would be driving for the team in 2007. [ [http://newsonf1.net/2006/news/11/nov15a.htm NewsOnF1.com article] , retrieved November 15th, 2006.] Super Aguri also confirmed, on December 15, that Giedo van der Garde would be their third driver in the 2007 season. However, the Dutchman left for Spyker F1 before the season began. [cite news| title =Van der Garde leaves Aguri for Spyker| publisher =Autosport.com| url =http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/56551| date =2007-02-01| accessdate =2007-02-01] Sakon Yamamoto, who was a second driver in late 2006, went back to being a test driver in 2007.

The team suffered a major setback when their car for 2007 failed the FIA crash test, with the rear of the car being destroyed more than is allowed. On 2nd March, Super Aguri pushed back the launch of its new car by two days, with the SA07 unveiled less than 48 hours before the first practice session for the Australian Grand Prix. Team's drivers Davidson and Sato shocked many people with getting 10th and 11th place in qualifying for Australian GP. Until this, the best result in qualification set by this team was 17th place (by Takuma Sato). Sato dropped to 12th by the race's end, while Anthony Davidson's race was ruined on the very first lap when Spyker's Adrian Sutil collided with him after a failed passing move. Davidson's car was thrown into the air, severely jarring his back upon landing. He drove through the pain to finish 16th and was taken to hospital following the race. [ [http://formula1sport.net/formula-1/davidson-says-injury-not-fully-healed/ Davidson says injury not fully healed at Formula1Sport.net ] ]

Shortly before the 2007 Australian Grand Prix, the team announced SS United Group Oil & Gas Company as its title sponsor. Also in 2007 Super Aguri signed an official supplier agreement with Speakerbus to supply race intercom. However, SS United Group defaulted on sponsorship payments, forcing the team to cut as many as 30 staff. [ [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns19885.html http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns19885.html] ] [ [http://msn.foxsports.com/motor/story/7493198 http://msn.foxsports.com/motor/story/7493198] ]

At the Spanish Grand Prix the team scored its first point ever, when Takuma Sato finished in 8th place. The Japanese driver benefited from the high attrition rate which saw cars usually in the points from Ferrari, BMW Sauber, Toyota and Williams drop out.

At the Canadian Grand Prix, the team scored its highest finish to that date, with Takuma Sato finishing 6th and garnering 3 points, passing defending world champion Fernando Alonso on track en route. ITV commentators mention that had it not been for a botched pit stop, Sato may have finished as high as fourth. Sato had been running 5th at the time of the pit stop. Sato's Aguri also finished ahead of the works Honda team, also having outqualified them.

After the European Grand Prix, Sakon Yamamoto was signed up by the Spyker F1 team for the remainder of the season, filling in the seat left vacant by Christijan Albers.

2008

See also: "2008 Formula One season" and "Super Aguri SA08"

Super Aguri kept their 2007 drivers Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson, following the acquisition of an unspecified portion of the team by the Magma Group. [cite news| title =SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM CONFIRMS NEW PARTNER AND DRIVERS FOR 2008 SEASON | publisher =Super Aguri official website | url =http://www.saf1.co.jp/en/topics/2008/nws_080310.html | date =2008-03-10 | accessdate =2008-03-10] - Luca Filippi was once linked to a drive in 2008 [ [http://en.f1-live.com/f1/en/headlines/news/detail/071212100901.shtml Filippi linked to Super Aguri] "F1-Live.com", retrieved on December 13, 2007.] however he has since signed to the GP2 Team ART Grand Prix partnering Romain Grosjean. On January 8 2008 the team announced that the SA08 would be launched in Barcelona, Spain. [cite news| title =Super Aguri to launch new car in February | publisher =autosport.com| url =http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/64569| date =| accessdate =2008-01-08] On February 12 Super Aguri postponed the SA08 launch and did not announce for how long due to their uncertainty of the future of the team. [cite website | url =http://www.itv-f1.com/News_Article.aspx?PO_ID=41765 | title ="Super Aguri postpones car launch" | publisher =itv.com/f1 | accessdate =2008-02-12] The team has since said that although it has cancelled its attendance at the final pre-season tests because some parts had not arrived, it expects to compete at the first race of the 2008 season in Australia. However, Magma have pulled out of their proposed takeover leaving Super Aguri's future in doubt again. The Super Aguri F1 Team travelled to Barcelona and competed in the 2008 Spanish Grand Prix, allegedly aided by financial support from F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone. On arrival at the Istanbul Park for the 2008 Turkish Grand Prix, Super Aguri's trucks and motorhomes were denied entry to the circuit, because Honda Racing CEO Nick Fry reportedly told the race organizers that Super Aguri would not be taking part. [cite news| title =Super Aguri denied access to Istanbul" | publisher=autosport.com| url=http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/67142 |date =| accessdate=2008-05-04] On May 6 2008, team founder and principal Aguri Suzuki announced that they are to withdraw from the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship with immediate effect due to financial problems,Cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7384404.stm|title=Struggling Super Aguri out of F1|accessyear=2008|accessmonthday=May 6|publisher=BBC Sport|year=2008] citing the breach of contract by the promised partner SS United Group Oil & Gas Company resulting in the loss of financial backing as putting the team into financial difficulties. [cite web|url=http://www.saf1.co.jp/en/topics/2008/nws_080506.html|title=SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT|publisher=Super Aguri Team Official Website|date=2008-05-07|accessdate=2008-05-21] It was confirmed on 7th May that Super Aguri have gone into administration after a team of corporate recovery partners was appointed to seek a buyer for the operation.Cite web|url=http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/67197|title=Super Aguri go into administration|accessyear=2008|accessmonthday=May 7|publisher=Autosport|year=2008]

Complete Formula One results

() (results in bold indicate pole position)* Season in progress (the team is, however, no longer competing)

References

External links

* [http://www.saf1.co.jp/en/ Official site]
* [http://www.magmagroup.eu/ Magma Group]


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