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Page last updated at 18:29 GMT, Thursday, 8 May 2008 19:29 UK

Team demise changes F1 qualifying

A Super Aguri F1 car
Super Aguri had not scored any points this season

Formula One's qualifying procedure is set to change after the Super Aguri team's withdrawal from the sport.

With 20 cars now in the starting line-up, five cars instead of six will be eliminated at the end of each of the first two parts of qualifying.

Beginning at Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix, 10 cars will still race for pole position in the final 10-minute phase.

The Japanese team wound up their racing activities with immediate effect on Tuesday because of a lack of funding.

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


Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone said he sympathised with the team and admitted he could not foresee an investor being willing to resurrect the now-defunct team.

"I'm sorry to see anybody go. We had no problem with them," he said.

"I didn't want to put in $100m (51m), which is what was needed. For somebody else it might have been OK, but it wasn't for me.

"If somebody could properly fund it then it would be good, but there are a lot of people walking around with a begging bowl."

Ecclestone added that although Super Aguri's demise created more space on the circuit for the other teams he insisted F1 was not a "closed shop".

"It leaves two spots open, but we're not looking for 12 teams, we're looking for 10," said Ecclestone.

"It means we have a lot more room now because the teams are expanding like crazy with their hospitality units and their trucks and everything. We're always running out of room.

"But because we have to be competitive and let people come in, it's not a closed shop. It's open."

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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