Super Aguri have announced that the Magma Group has reached an agreement to buy out the team, following months of speculation and rumours. The news is good for Super Aguri and Honda, the small Japanese team now being relatively safe and Honda freed up to concentrate more on their own cars and organisation. Magma have also agreed with Honda a supply of engines and some technical support, and the outfit will retain both Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson for the 2008 season.
Speculation regarding the future of the team went into overdrive following the launch of the Honda RA108 earlier in the year. At the launch it was stated that continued technical support on the level they had given Aguri in the past two years would not likely continue, and that Honda wanted Super Aguri to stand on its own two feet. Combined with sponsorship issues from the 2007 season painted a pretty bleak picture for the small team and Aguri Suzuki was said to be constantly flying around the world trying to drum up support.
I am pleased to announce our new partner and drivers finally at this late stage. I am looking forward to a successful and long lasting collaboration with Magma Group. Aguri Suzuki.
The news that both 2007 drivers will remain is also good; Sato scored the team’s first points last year and Davidson is considered to be a very loyal and capable driver by Honda.
I’m really looking forward to my second season with the Super Aguri F1 Team and to building on what we achieved last year. The testing we have been able to do has gone well and we are continuing to make improvements to the car in conjunction with the new MES system. Anthony Davidson.
Aguri didn’t manage to get to the final group test sessions prior to shipping everything to Melbourne, so the car is likely to struggle in the first few races. However, perhaps with added security later in the season the team can progress with the chassis and hopefully improve.
Image courtesy of Super Aguri.