A deal has been done
Well it happened more quickly than I expected, but as predicted Super Aguri are still in with a chance of racing next year. It would appear that all teams now support Aguri's entry for the championship.
What does that mean? Firstly, money has changed hands. Sweeteners have been agreed, and MF1, the Turkey that Martin Whitmarsh talked about, has indeed voted for Christmas. Secondly, there will be a couple of mobile chicanes on track during practice for the first few races of the year. Assuming that Aguri has bought the rights to the old Arrows chassis, then the chassis will still have to be beefed up to pass the current impact tests. There will also be modifications so that the engine can be installed, and a number of detail changes so that the car complies with regulations.
But what Aguri won't be worrying about, is whether the car is quick. The only thing it has to do is be legal, and go round the track a few times. The team just needs to have a car so that they comply with the rule that insists that all teams turn up to all races. And since the demise of the 107% qualifying rule, they will probably be allowed to start the races as well, which will give the team a bit of experience.
In the meantime, work on the real car will be going on, and by mid-season, we can expect to see the first real SA chassis on the tracks and at which point MF1 can expect to have to fight not to be last on the grid. Producing an F1 car is a complex job, requiring a lot of time. The guys at Aguri have a massive amount of work ahead of them to get two chassis designs up and running. But it's motor racing, so everyone will buckle down and do it, and it could well become one of the legendary F1 stories, like when MARCH entered F1 in 1970.
Of course, the FIA still have to approve the entry, but let's hope that's just a rubber stamp away.