Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

And then there were... not very many at all - The future of Super Aguri is in grave doubt

Published by Mr. C

The Oxford Times ran a rather concerning story yesterday, detailing the anticipated loss of 30 jobs from Super Aguri's Leafield factory, in the not so distant future.

The team are having to cut back due to a lack of funds, after sponsor SS United failed to make agreed payments earlier this year. There is hope that the employees affected will be picked up by other teams within the area.

On its own this isn't a massive problem for Formula 1. Super Aguri had a fantastic 2nd year, exceeding all expectations and the lack of sponsorship payment could be considered a minor disruption. There is further trouble brewing for the team though, as an article on pointed out, customer cars will probably be banned from 2009 onwards:

[Super Aguri] was always aimed as being in an F1 in which customer cars would be allowed. It seems that this will still happen but only until the end of 2009 when all the teams will have to become constructors in their own right.

Finding a replacement for SS United, especially one that could fund the step from customer to constructor, could prove troublesome.

Brad Spurgeon extrapolates the idea further in the post F1 Speculative Fiction, in which he looks into his crystal ball to a future without customer cars (and then some). It doesn't paint a very rosy picture, in fact if such things come to pass it'll be very hard to tell the difference between F1 and A1GP.

I'm all for entrants having to construct their own cars. In principle it sounds like the ideal benchmark, but if such a requirement becomes reality then they'll be more than 30 people looking for employment in motorsport valley pretty soon.