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Super Aguri: A Small F1 Team Takes on the Giants

By

Aguri Suzuki F1 Team
Photo (c) Aguri Suzuki F1 Team

Vital Statistics:

  • Founded: 2006
  • Based: Langley, England
  • World Constructors' Titles: 0
  • World Drivers' Titles: 0
  • Grand Prix Victories: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0

    Aguri Suzuki:

    Before Takuma Sato, Aguri was one of the most successful Japanese drivers in Formula 1. He raced from 1988 to 1995, although in both '88 and '94 he raced in only one Grand Prix each year. He finished third in the Japanese Grand Prix in 1990 in a Lola Lamborghini, becoming the first Japanese driver to finish on the podium in F1. He finished sixth times in fourth place. With close ties to Honda, Suzuki decided to create the Aguri Suzuki team in order to help Takuma continue his career in F1 after the Honda team dropped him in favor of Rubens Barrichello in 2006.

    Daniel Audetto:

    Daniel is one of the more colorful characters in F1. He started life as a trained artist. But a period of ill health and the discovery of auto racing led to a new career. He has occupied several positions in several different kinds of auto racing series and along the way, he worked at the Ferrari team in the 1970s, when, on behalf of Enzo Ferrari, he approached Gilles Villeneuve to drive for the team. He also worked at other F1 teams, including the Arrows team, and then Daniel joined the fledgling Super Aguri team in its first year as the managing director.

    A Brief History:

    Super Aguri was thrown together in a few months before the 2006 season as a way to help Takuma Sato continue his Formula 1 career. In its first season, it used the old Arrows chassis. By the end of the season the team finished as high as 10th position in the last race, at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

    More Recent Times:

    Super Aguri began the 2007 season in a controversy as it chose to use a chassis that other teams claimed belonged to the Honda team of the previous season. The team's results improved as in the first races of the season the team outqualified even Honda - the new car of which was not as good as the previous season's car.

    The Honda Connection:

    Honda helps the team with the engine and engineers, but the company still considers the Honda team its main entry in the F1 championship. Super Aguri, however, fulfills another role that not even the Honda team played: It became immediately recognized as a Japanese national team, with in its first year only Japanese drivers, with mostly Japanese sponsors, and Japanese ownership. In its first season, at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, Super Aguri, not Honda, was the most popular team, with practically the whole main grand stand being filled with fans waving Super Aguri flags.

    The Future:

    In the age of the car manufacturer teams, Super Aguri is too poor and too small - fewer than 200 employees at the beginning of 2007 compared to nearly 1000 at many of the other teams - to be able to do better than play for a point or two through lucky circumstances. But in the coming seasons a change in the rules to allow teams to buy chassis from other teams may see Super Aguri achieving better results.
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