Formula 1 team Super Aguri have accused rivals of scaring off potential team sponsors because of the as-yet unresolved row over ‘customer cars’. The Honda-backed team presented their SA107 car at the Melbourne track on Wednesday without a title sponsor. Apart from Honda, the only prominent branding on the car was from gas company, SS United Group.
“They are a major sponsor, not the title sponsor,” Daniele Audetto, the team managing director explained. “With the title sponsor we had a very long negotiation. It is still going on but unfortunately, we cannot close in time for the first race. I think the team are in quite a strong position to get two or three more big sponsors.
“It is difficuly to get sponsors for a new team and it makes it even more difficult when you write and declare in the newspaper that you are not legal and that you cannot start the championship. That had a very negative impact on our ongoing negotiations.”
Colin Kolles, team boss of Spyker, along with Williams, have threatened legal action against Super Aguri as they feel that the rules of F1 state that teams must design and build their own cars. There have been suggestions that both Super Aguri and Toro Rosso should be ineligible for constructors’ points as the cars were not built by the team.
Super Aguri, who failed to score any points in 2006, have reiterated that they feel their car is legal. Official scrutineering for the race opener on Sunday is on Thursday. “We do the best we can within the existing rules,” Audetto said. “We want to respect the rules – we don’t want to cheat.”
Click here to see the official specifications of the SA107 car on Super Aguri’s official site.