Second team for Honda?

UPDATE #4 See this related rumor which says Suzuki claims to not be involved in the new Honda team and other names are being speculated. 10/08/05 Well-connected sources in the Suzuka paddock insist that the mysterious 11th Honda-supported F1 team will be run by Aguri Suzuki and the Dome organization, and that the project is now virtually certain to go ahead.

When confronted with the suggestion, BAR team principal Nick Fry smiled broadly and said, “I can’t comment."

Both names have already been mentioned in connection with the much talked-about team, but not previously as a package. Earlier this week Dome denied its involvement to Japanese journalists.

The one thing that does make Dome an obvious partner in the project is that it the constructor has a top-class manufacturing facility. Given a full set of drawings of this year’s BAR 007, the company would have little trouble producing a subtly modified replica to take next year’s Honda V8. More at

10/07/05 Former F1 driver Aguri Suzuki's 'Super Aguri' racing company is most likely behind the Honda 'b' team, it is believed. In the Suzuka paddock, the rumor mill now agrees that the possible 11th 2006 F1 team is backed by a Japanese group — the Dome company, that looked into entering the sport in the 90s, was a candidate until bosses issued denials.

BAR-Honda principal Nick Fry, meanwhile, gave short thrift to speculation that Honda is keen to be involved in the mysterious team chiefly because it would further strengthen the carmakers' plight in the war over F1's future.

Honda is a signatory of the recent Munich agreement to stick with the 'breakaway' solution — and so too, goes the theory, would the 'B' team. ''You would be completely wrong to read that into it,'' he insisted. ''It has no connection.''

10/06/05 The mystery surrounding a possible Honda-related eleventh 2006 formula one team has created a distinct buzz in the Suzuka GP paddock.

Although cynics titter at the timing of the bombshell – what with a potential Japanese furor about Takuma Sato's dumping bubbling beneath the surface – there is definitely substance to all the noise about the anonymous team.

''It is very difficult to put together a team in five or six months,'' a wry Flavio Briatore remarked of the news.

True, but BAR-Honda boss Nick Fry – clearly privy to some behind-the-scenes detail about the story – put the probability of a 2006 'b team' debut at 65 per cent.

''But it is not a Honda b-team,'' he protested.

Fry said: ''The (Honda V8) engines will be sold to them. Nothing is 100 per cent sure, but it's promising.''

Obviously, the mysterious team will have trouble building a car from scratch, leading to speculation that – although strictly against the F1 rules – the 2005 BAR 007 will form a basis for the racer. The team may also, like BAR, be based at Brackley.

Also strengthening the Honda link is Fry's revelation that team tester Anthony Davidson – like Japan's Sato – is in the frame to take a cockpit. ''Taku has already indicated that he's been approached,'' the BAR principal said, ''and all we've said is that we imagine Anthony's in the frame.''

F1's potential 11th team has until November 15 to lodge an official 2006 entry — and the $48m FIA bond

The Super Aguri organization, the group of racing teams which are run by former Grand Prix driver Aguri Suzuki, will likely field the 'B' team. It is quite likely, given the short time involved, that the team would be run from the BAR headquarters in Brackley.

10/04/05 A new formula one team could join the grand prix circus next year. Honda, which announced on Tuesday that it had bought the rest of the BAR team, admitted some involvement in the brand new entry, including possible engine supply and the appointment of compatriot Takuma Sato as driver.

''Nothing has been decided yet,'' said operating officer Hiroshi Oshima, ''but Bernie Ecclestone has given (it) his blessing.''

Japanese driver Sato, meanwhile – dumped by the works Honda team for 2006 – admitted that he had received an offer to drive for what appears to be a 'B' Honda team. "The new team is yet to be decided, but I have received an offer from it," the Japanese driver said. "There are various options for the next season. I will not give up on competing in F1."

BAR and Honda have been trying hard to help Sato secure a drive. Jordan chief Colin Kolles has previously said the team could make a bid to bring in Sato as a driver for next season.

Jordan, which will be re-branded as Midland next year, runs with Toyota engines but Kolles confirmed the Japanese company has given his team clearance to bid for Sato's services if they see him as their best option.

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