Super Aguri to withdraw from F1

The Japanese team suspends activities immediately due to financial problems.

    Super Aguri will not compete in Istanbul
    [GALLO/GETTY]

    The head of Japanese Formula One team Super Aguri has said his team will withdraw from the 2008 F-1 World Championship due to financial difficulties.

    The team was denied access to the Turkish Grand Prix circuit ahead of the next F1 round at Istanbul Park on Sunday.

    Super Aguri's trucks and motorhome were prevented from entering the Istanbul Park circuit ahead of this weekend's race.

    "I have participated in the championship for two years and four months,'' team president Aguri Suzuki said at a news conference Tuesday.

    "I regretfully must inform you that the team will be ceasing its racing activities as of today,''

    Super Aguri, which has been struggling since its debut in 2006, held talks with its backer Honda on Friday in Tokyo to discuss the team's future.

    The Japanese team has been troubled since a potential buy-out with British auto company Magma Group fell through last month.

    The team has reportedly also been in talks on a buy-out with German automotive firm Weigl Group.

    "I knew after we weren't able to reach a deal with Magma that it would be difficult to go on,'' said Suzuki.

    Sponsorship problems

    Suzuki said "a breach of contract'' by a promised partner resulted in the loss of financial backing and put the team into financial difficulties.

    "The breach of contract by the promised partner SS United Oil & Gas Co. resulted in the loss of financial backing and put the team into financial difficulties,'' Suzuki said.

    Super Aguri signed the sponsorship deal with the oil and gas company before the start of the 2007 season.

    The team, founded by Suzuki in 2005, scored four points from 41 Grand Prix races.

    With an annual budget of around $77.5 million as well as receiving engines and technical support from Honda, it finished ninth in the 2007 constructors' championship.

    Super Aguri hasn't scored any points after four races this season, with drivers Takuma Sato and Britain's Anthony Davidson both failing to finish in the opening race in Australia.

    Their best result was Sato's 13th place in Barcelona, where Davidson retired.

    "There were a lot of fond memories over the years,'' said Suzuki.

    "But the thing I am most proud of is that we always fought hard and did our best despite the fact that we were a very small team.''

    SOURCE: Agencies


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