Aguri Suzuki has revealed he is “forced to consider the future” of his Formula One team after a potential investor pulled the plug on a multi-million pound deal.
Super Aguri now face the very real prospect of not only missing next week’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, but potentially folding altogether.
Just over a month ago, Super Aguri confirmed they had reached an agreement with the Magma Group, an automotive technology and investment company, regarding their acquisition.
It had been hoped the deal would have been completed by the end of last month, however, Magma this week confirmed in writing to Super Aguri any buy-out was now on hold.
Magma’s financial backers, Dubai International Capital, who have long been embroiled in a potential takeover of Liverpool, have decided they no longer wish to invest.
Suzuki said: “Super Aguri confirms it has been informed by Magma Group, the potential purchasers of the team, its investors no longer wish to fund the intended acquisition.
“It is with deep regret I am now forced to consider the future of the team, however, negotiations with other parties continue.”
DIC’s withdrawal leaves Magma staring at a vast shortfall in funds, believed to be as much as £50m (€62m).
Magma, run by Martin Leach, a former president and chief operating officer of Ford’s European division, are fighting to resolve the matter.
But there appears to be no grey area as it has become a case in which Magma find the funds via another investor and Super Aguri race in Barcelona, or there is no money and the Japanese team do not compete.
Although Super Aguri are backed by Honda engines and have long been supported by the manufacturing giants, it is unlikely they will bail out the ailing Leafield-based team.
Honda are already owed a considerable amount of money by Super Aguri, and are determined to plough all funds into their own race programme following a disastrous 2007 season.
The only other option could perhaps see Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone temporarily prop up Super Aguri.
The team’s problems have been compounded by the fact they have not attended this week’s test at the Circuit de Catalunya.