Super Aguri Survives
Autosport has an interesting article on the Super Aguri team today, including several revealing comments from the managing director, Daniel Audetto.Super Aguri turns the cornerFor instance, his mention of the drivers, Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson, as soon to be confirmed will give Ant's supporters new hope that he will still be in F1 next year. All is subject to the outcome of the arbitration over customer cars, of course, but Audetto seems optimistic of a satisfactory conclusion for Super Aguri.The main problem arising from the arbitration is the difficulty in finding sponsors while the issue remains unclear. Obviously, potential backers are hesitant to get involved while there is still a possibility that the team will be unable to race in 2008. It seems remarkably short-sighted of everyone involved not to have forced things to a conclusion at a much earlier date, although I suspect that both SA and Toro Rosso were happy to let things ride while they continued their participation in the 2007 season. Both teams are paying the price for that now and will have to start next season with interim cars based on their present ones.And that is where it gets interesting again. From Audetto's comments, it becomes clear that SA intend to use a 2008 Honda chassis, thereby skipping the intractable 2007 version. This brings them into line with STR's approach in that they will have virtually the same car as their parent teams.It also makes them very good examples, the very definition in fact, of the customer car concept. Considering that the 2008 Adrian Newey design for RBR and STR is a development of this year's car, it should be very good; and, presuming that Honda get their new design right this time, we can understand why Force India and Williams are not enthusiastic about letting customer cars into F1. This is competition that could give them serious problems.I am not going into the customer car argument yet again - plenty has been said on both sides of the issue already. But it really is time that it was clarified, one way or another. The issue has already caused the non-appearance of one team, Prodrive, on the grid in the new year and now it is preventing two more teams from preparing properly during the off season. Interim cars are a way of saying "We're not ready yet", after all.So the news from Super Aguri is good: they will be a part of the show next year and their fans can continue to cheer for the little team, subject only to the arbitration outcome. And Sato and Davidson will continue to entertain us, it seems. That would be the best solution, I think; the prospect of only nine teams contesting the championship hardly bears thinking about.
I dunno, until I see them on the grid at Melbourne I won't beleive they are out of the woods. Only 84 days to go....
Counting the days, Peril... ;)
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