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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report

Spice Group eyes stake in F1 team

January 31, 2008 12:46 IST

India's Spice Group are in talks with cash-strapped Super Aguri about taking a possible stake in the Formula One team, Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan's [Images] manager confirmed on Wednesday.

"We know they are talking to two teams at the moment, one of them I know is Super Aguri," Mark Perkins told Reuters.

"What Spice do we can't really comment on.

"If either of the negotiations is successful and they want Narain to race for them this year, he will be delighted to take that opportunity. It should be fantastic for India and fantastic for Narain."

Karthikeyan, who in 2005 became India's first Formula One driver with the Jordan team, races for his country in the A1 Grand Prix series and last December took their first race win.

Andaleeb Sehgal, CEO of A1GP Team India, heads the diversified Spice group.

Force India, the former Spyker team taken over by Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya [Images], denied any talks with Spice and a source said the other team mentioned was believed to be Toro Rosso.

Karthikeyan tested for Williams last year but his contract was not renewed. However the 30-year-old said last month that he still had unfinished business.

Super Aguri were founded by former racer Aguri Suzuki at the end of 2005 with Honda engines and backing to secure a drive for Japan's [Images] Takuma Sato.

Although Sato, who is central to the team's continued support from Honda, and Briton Anthony Davidson have been named in a list published by the governing FIA, the lineup remains unconfirmed.

Aguri managing director Daniele Audetto said recently that they are looking for someone to invest in the team rather than take control of it and that Honda would have to approve the deal.

He backed Sato and Davidson to stay on, but did not rule out a change if a wealthy partner came on board.

Honda F1 chief executive said on Tuesday that he doubted Karthikeyan would be acceptable to the carmaker, who expected consistent engineering feedback.

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