Backing for Super Aguri
Team arrive in Australia after "basic agreement" reached
Super Aguri's future appears secure after they announced they are to receive financial backing from the Magma Group.
The team, formed at the end of 2005 with support from Honda, have missed the majority of winter testing after suffering financial problems sparked when their major sponsor for the 2007 season defaulted on a payment.
Team boss Aguri Suzuki has recently been involved in talks with both potential investors and Honda themselves in an effort to secure the team's future.
And, with a "basic agreement" now in place, the team have arrived in Melbourne for Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
"After having talks with various sponsors, investors and interests, we have reached a basic agreement with Britain's Magma Group concerning a contract," Suzuki said.
"We have discussed many deals and come to understand that this would be the most appropriate one for our team."
While declining to elaborate on the nature of the deal, Suzuki did say that the Magma Group, a consultancy firm led by former Ford and Maserati executive Martin Leach, "will not be a sponsor".
"We are in the middle of talks on different subjects including an equity share," he explained.
"We are about to put finishing touches on the deal and I am not in a position to go into details at the moment."
Suzuki added that Honda, who have supplied engines and other technical input to the team, had agreed to the deal.
The Magma Group had been mentioned as one of a number of potential suitors, with an Indian consortium led by the Spice Group telecom company also said to be interested.
More recently, reports said a consortium headed by a British company and a Middle Eastern sponsor, with possibly some German involvement, was also keen.
Although the uncerrtainty meant that drivers Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson have yet to be officially confirmed by the team, their names have been painted on Super Aguri's pit garage at Albert Park.
"Our team have overcome difficulties and moved forward in each of the past two seasons," commented Sato, who finished sixth in last year's Canadian Grand Prix.
"We will have a great challenge ahead with new support and we will go all out from the first race as a new-born team."
However, Davidson admitted that, given their lack of testing, difficulties still lay ahead.
"We've gone only three days in total in testing this season. So we are very much on the back foot," the Briton said.
Davidson predicted the team might not do well in the opening races but "we had a very long winter to prepare mentally for this so we are very much ready".