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Super Aguri F1 team a non-starter for 2006
December 02, 2005 17:00 IST
Japan's planned Super Aguri Formula One team will not take part in next season's championship, the governing FIA said on Thursday.
An official list of entrants had just 10 teams, the same number as this year.
"We have notified the team that their application has been refused," said a spokesman for the International Automobile Federation.
Super Aguri, run by former Formula One racer Aguri Suzuki, had hoped to enter the championship with Honda engines and technical support.
They had been talking to former Minardi owner Paul Stoddart about buying four-year-old Arrows cars due to problems in overcoming the regulations preventing teams from using cars designed and built by existing entrants.
While no reason was given for the FIA's rejection, new applicants to the championship must pay a $48 million bond before they can be accepted and sources suggested that had not been forthcoming.
Their omission from the official entry list dashed the immediate hopes of Takuma Sato, dropped by Honda-owned BAR at the end of this season, of being on the starting grid next year as well as Briton Anthony Davidson. It also left Japan without a grand prix driver.
However a late entry remained a possibility, albeit unlikely, if the team can secure the unanimous agreement of all the other entrants before the first race of the season in Bahrain on March 12.
The official list, headed by champions Renault who retain their Mild Seven tobacco backing, also confirmed that Portugal's Tiago Monteiro would take the second seat at the new Midland team replacing Jordan.
McLaren, runners-up in the 2005 championship despite winning more races than Renault, were listed without a title sponsor following the departure of cigarette brand West.
BAR's name changes to Lucky Strike Honda Racing F1 team following Honda's decision to buy out founders British American Tobacco.
No drivers were listed for Scuderia Toro Rosso, who replace stragglers Minardi after that Italy-based team was bought out by Red Bull and renamed.
American Scott Speed is likely to be one of them, becoming his country's first Formula One racer since Michael Andretti left McLaren in 1993, alongside either Austrian Christian Klien or Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi.
Either Liuzzi or Klien will go to Red Bull's main Ferrari-powered team.
The other vacant slot on the list was at the new BMW team but that was filled earlier on Thursday when they confirmed that Canadian former champion Jacques Villeneuve would be seeing out his Sauber contract.
BMW announced in June that they were buying Sauber to enter their own team after six years as engine partners to former champions Williams.
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