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Page last updated at 18:43 GMT, Tuesday, 6 May 2008 19:43 UK

Struggling Super Aguri out of F1

A Super Aguri F1 car at the Spanish Grand Prix
Super Aguri have not scored any points this season

The Super Aguri team have withdrawn from the Formula One world championship because of a lack of funding.

The Japanese team have wound up their racing activities with immediate effect and will not compete at this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix.

Super Aguri have been struggling for survival since the collapse of a takeover deal by the Dubai-based Magma Group in April.

It means British driver Anthony Davidson is now without an F1 drive.

Team founder Aguri Suzuki, who broke the news in Japan, said: "Regretfully I must inform you that the team will be ceasing racing activities.

"The loss of financial backing put the team into financial difficulties.

"With the help of Honda, we somehow managed to keep the team going, but we find it difficult to establish a way to continue the activities in the future so I have concluded to withdraw.

"I have been very happy that I was able to achieve a miracle and become a team owner."

Davidson warned that it was becoming almost impossible for privately-run teams to survive in the sport.

"It was pretty unexpected for everyone to lose this team so early in the year," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"F1 is a strong sport and teams will come and go but they'll be missed - especially the smaller ones.

"It's maybe a sign of the times that privateer teams just can't survive now."

Super Aguri's prospects looked bleak when they were denied access to the Istanbul circuit ahead of this weekend's Grand Prix pending talks over their survival.

Team founder Aguri Suzuki and backers Honda were expected to meet on Tuesday, while the team's trucks and motorhome were not allowed into the paddock.

It's a piranha club and I don't want to stick my fingers back in

Aguri Suzuki
Super Aguri's car, engine and gearbox - and much of their funding - came from Honda, but the Japanese manufacturers wanted the F1 minnows to start paying for their equipment.

New regulations which come into force in 2010 also mean that F1 teams will no longer be able to make custom cars for other outfits.

Suzuki added: "The change of direction of the environment surrounding the team, in terms of the use of customer chassis, has also affected our ability to find partners."

Super Aguri announced last week an 11th hour deal for Germany's Weigh Group to take a "substantial shareholding" but it now seems likely Honda did not approve that deal.

"We simply ran out of time to put together a deal with Weigl," said Suzuki, who drove in F1 from 1988 to 1995.

"We did reach a basic agreement with Weigl but were always battling against time."

It is understood Honda provided an emergency cash injection which allowed Super Aguri to race in the Spanish Grand Prix on 27 April, but no longer wants to divert cash away from its own racing team.

Suzuki's team, who were based in the factory formerly used by the now defunct Arrows team, made its F1 debut in 2006.

Anthony Davidson
Davidson did not score any points during his spell with Super Aguri
The following season, with drivers Takuma Sato and Davidson at the helm, the team collected four points to finish ninth in the constructor standings, just two points behind Honda.

Super Aguri had not scored any points from four races this season with Sato's 13th place in Barcelona, where Davidson retired, their best placing.

xSuzuki, 47, paid tribute to his drivers, adding: "Anthony Davidson has always pushed to the limit despite very difficult conditions.

"Takuma Sato has been with us from the very start and has always fought hard and led the team.

"The drivers have always been so positive and have been fantastic.

"I would like to express my thanks to our fans from all over the world, who have loyally supported the team."

Suzuki remained hesistant about reviving his F1 ambitions in the future, saying: "The past two and a half years have flown past but I have no regrets.

"I'm exhausted. 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."

see also
Super Aguri close to rescue deal
02 May 08 |  Formula One
Super Aguri get Spanish reprieve
25 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Super Aguri 'may miss Spanish GP'
23 Apr 08 |  Formula One
New doubt over Super Aguri future
16 Apr 08 |  Formula One
New backer seals Aguri's F1 berth
10 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Aguri allay fears over new season
29 Feb 08 |  Formula One
Super Aguri cancel Spain testing
18 Feb 08 |  Formula One
Super Aguri delay new car launch
12 Feb 08 |  Formula One
Super Aguri seeking new investors
09 Feb 08 |  Formula One
Super Aguri handed F1 green light
26 Jan 06 |  Formula One

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