Today, Super Aguri has left Formula One adding another team to the graveyard of has-beens.
Started in 2006 on former Formula One driver Aguri Suzuki's dream, Super Aguri barely made it to the season opener in Bahrain with the bad combination of a 2006-spec Honda engine and a four-year old Arrows chassis. Under drivers Takuma Sato and Yuji Ide, the latter retired due to a mechanical failure while the former finished four laps adrift of the leader. It was a humble start for Aguri.
Aguri raced all season with the smallest budget in the paddock. Their fortunes slowly turned around that season by setting small goals and releasing an updated car at the German Grand Prix, and they ended it with a top-ten finish, courtesy of Takuma Sato, in the season-closer in Brazil.
A highly spirited first run, with Aguri Suzuki praising his team on every little achievement they had. They were the little team that could.
When the 2007 season came about, Super Aguri, using the previous year's Honda chassis, improved even more. Takuma Sato, in Spain, took the team's first ever point and the most memorable event was Sato again, passing Fernando Alonso in the much faster McLaren-Mercedes for position at the chaotic 2007 Canadian Grand Prix. Along with that pass and many other events, Super Aguri took three points from that race, and it seemed to be the beginning of something great.
The rest of 2007 didn't see any other points finishes, but leading their backer, Honda, for most of the season certainly boosted morale in the team. It was there that their budget troubles were starting to show.
2008 began with the hopes of a financial backer. Firstly, the backer came in the form of the Magma Group, using money from Dubai, but that collapsed shortly thereafter. However, the team's spirits were not dampened. After the team's transporters were parked outside the gates to the circuit in Turkey, Aguri Suzuki tried, in futility, to get a deal working with Weigl.
That was not successful, and it is here that we are gathered to honour a fallen team. Take a moment to remember the Super Best Friends, a team with a lot of spirit, which is a must in Formula One, but not enough money.
R.I.P. Super Aguri
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