Super Aguri have started legal proceedings against main sponsor SS United over claims that the company have failed to pay all the promised sponsorship money.
The oil and gas company struck a deal with the Super Aguri team on the eve of the first race of the season in Australia. The first sponsorship payment was paid on time, but according to Super Aguri, no further instalments of the sponsorship monies were forthcoming.
Super Aguri have attempted to thrash out a solution outside of the courts however they have been unable to resolve the situation. As no money has been paid to the Formula 1 team, Super Aguri have been forced to take the matter to the courts.
“We gave them a deadline of July,â€ Super Aguri managing director Daniel Adutto explained. “So now we have to start legal action. We had a contract they made the first payment, they had the publicity so they are definitely at fault and liable.â€
Super Aguri will continue to run their car with SS United s stickers to ensure they stick to their side of the bargain, however they are on the lookout for replacement sponsors.
“In September, it is almost impossible to find a sponsor for the remainder of the season, so what I am doing is that with the potential sponsors for 2008, I offer part of this season,â€ Adetto explained.
Although there are no concerns over Super Aguri s participation in the remainder of the 2007 season, Adetto admits that the missing money has affected their testing and development programme. “Originally we had all the income from SS United in the budget and we should have spend it on more development and testing,â€ Adetto continued.
“So when we understand that SS United was late, we started to reduce all the costs so we can finish the season and break even. What is important is that we finish the season, pay all our creditors and suppliers, and we have a strong position for next year. Because of the four points we have, and how competitive and reliable the top teams are, I hope that without any foreseeable disasters like weather or massive accidents, our direct competitors namely Toro Ross and Spyker will not score more than four points. That is why we can reduce the costs, pay off the debts, break even and be strong for next year.â€