Zurich Gnome

The journal of a Swiss-based motor-racing enthusiast.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Talking Turkey

It appears that the fuss over Super Aguri continues. Having missed the deadline to put $48 million in Max Mosley's piggy bank (why didn't they ring and say the cheques was in the post?) Aguri now need the support of all ten teams to get an entry for 2006.

Understandably MF1 (née Jordan) aren't overkeen on the idea as a second Honda works team will undoubtedly outpace them and relegate MF1 to 11th in the championship. Which would mean the loss of the share of TV income and Travel support that Bernie doles out to the top ten teams. As Martin Whitmarsh of McLaren succinctly put it yesterday "If you are a turkey, you don't vote for Christmas".

So unless a deal is done (and this is F1, so deals may well be done) there will be no 11th team on the grid in March. And March is, let's face it, only two months away if you assume that racing people spend Christmas with their families. And Super Aguri have not yet, as far as we know, got a chassis, just a very powerful engine.

If Honda are serious about wanting Aguri to race, all they need to do is to agree to waive the TV and travel monies for two years. It might set Honda back a few quid (about $30 million) but when you consider that so far this year the Japanese company has spent over $550 million investing in F1 (including buying BAR shares) you have to assume it's achievable. The alternative is for Aguri to spend 2006 testing and playing at racing by themselves. This is what Toyota did when they started, but this has no PR benefit and costs almost as much as the real thing. If there is a chassis in the offing, a deal must be the way to go.


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