During Honda’s launch of their 2008 car, chief executive Nick Fry spoke about the continued support of Super Aguri and how the squad are looking for an investor to help fund the future of the team. While Super Aguri’s position was known previously, it was presumed that both current drivers would be safe at the squad. However, the search for money could come from another driver bringing sponsorship with him. One name that has been spoken a fair amount is India’s Narain Karthikeyan. However, Honda are pressuring Super Aguri to retain Anthony Davidson, explaining that the Briton gives excellent feedback, helpful in the developing of the chassis.
Although both drivers were named on the official FIA press statement detailing the entrants for 2008, Super Aguri quickly went on record to state that they were still negotiating contracts.
To ensure that the engineering feedback is consistent, you have got to have people who are of a standard. Anthony is definitely one of the people who is of that standard. I would not personally be convinced that the driver you mentioned [Karthikeyan] would be of an acceptable standard for us.
The intent for 2008 is that Aguri will be on the grid but clearly what Ross [Brawn] and I need to do, and are doing, is ensure that doesn’t detract from our primary job. At this stage, the intent is that they will be on the grid with Honda engines and support. Exactly how much of that support comes from here is being worked on at the moment. Nick Fry.
At the moment we would like to stay with the same drivers. Takuma is the reason why this team exists and Davidson is Honda’s preferred driver. But we are also looking for a strong partner. If they bring a lot of money and they want a driver from wherever, then he has to be good and accepted by the FIA. Daniel Audetto of Super Aguri.
I’m sure Honda will get their way and Davidson will be in an Aguri on the Australian grid, but the future of the team is in question, including the employment of the drivers.