AGURI Suzuki aimed a parting shot at Honda F1 boss Nick Fry after confirming his cash-strapped team were pulling out of Formula One.
Ten teams and 20 drivers will now line up on the grid for Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul following Super Aguri’s demise.
A last-minute deal with German automotive company, Weigl Group, was unable to be finalised, forcing Suzuki out of business. The former Formula One driver could not resist a retort at Fry following the Honda F1 chief executive’s input into matters during the last few days.
Following the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, it was apparently Fry who impounded the Super Aguri cars at Honda’s Brackley-based factory.
It was also Fry who informed Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management company that Super Aguri would not be competing in Turkey.
That resulted in the team’s transporters being refused entry to the Istanbul Park circuit prior to yesterday’s announcement confirming their flirtation with F1 was over after 28 months.
Suzuki said: “I don’t understand how suddenly Nick Fry needs to be commenting on everything.
“Honda were our backers and he’s not the CEO of Honda. I have no interest in Nick Fry, and have no idea what he was talking about.”
Honda had supported Super Aguri since their birth in early 2006, supplying their fellow Japanese team with chassis and engines.
But the team ran into financial difficulties at the end of last season when oil and gas company, SS United, defaulted on a payment of their sponsorship deal.
On the eve of the current season, British automotive firm, Magma Group, in conjunction with their backers in Dubai International Capital, appeared poised for a takeover.
But DIC pulled out, leaving Super Aguri on the brink of collapse and in debt to Honda to the tune of over £50million (€63.5m).
To spare Suzuki and his team embarrassment of folding midway into a grand prix weekend, Honda agreed to fund the team in Barcelona, but beyond that it was a case of sink or swim on their own.
At the end of last week, Suzuki appeared to have been granted a reprieve when he announced he was in talks with the Weigl Group.
However, within the corridors of power at Honda, it was questioned whether they had the financial muscle required to keep Super Aguri afloat to the end of the season and beyond.
Suzuki conceded: “We simply ran out of time to put together a deal with Weigl.
“After Magma pulled out suddenly, and without any explanation, I have since flown all over the world talking to other companies but I was unable to secure a deal.”
An “exhausted” Suzuki is now unlikely to return to Formula One in the near future, if at all, adding: “I definitely need a break.
“It’s a piranha club and I kind of feel that I don’t want to stick my fingers back in.”
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