Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
Location: Los Angeles / Hannover Germany
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Weigl blames Fry for SAF1 demise
Weigl blames Fry for SAF1 demise.
Wed 07 May, 12:54 PM
Honda F1 boss Fry to blame for end of Super Aguri, claims potential rescuer.
Potential Super Aguri saviour Franz Josef Weigl has hit out at claims that uncertainty over legal action following Formula One's 'customer car' row scuppered his potential rescue attempt.
Weigl believed that he was close to a deal to financially assist Super Aguri for the rest of the season when the announcement came that the team had been shut down with immediate effect just days before the Turkish Grand Prix - and hours before his proposal was due to have gone before Honda management in Tokyo..
The German, however, refuses to believe that the excuses given are those that really brought an end to the saga, claiming that current Honda F1 CEO Nick Fry had played a major role in killing off Super Aguri. Fry had already been implicated by team boss Aguri Suzuki in playing a part in preventing SAF1 from setting up in the Istanbul Park paddock ahead of this weekend's grand prix.
"It is over, the politics have won," is how Weigl claims Super Aguri's Daniele Audetto broke the news to him on Tuesday [6 May].
"It is very sad," the German businessman admitted in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport in which he claims he had two other investors ready to partner him in his rescue attempt.
While Honda attempted to cover its back with claims that the threat of legal redress over the ongoing 'customer car' row made it less appealing to be involved with a team using versions of its car, Weigl insisted that that was nothing more than a smoke screen to hide the intentional death of an inconvenient 'partner'.
Pointing out that the row had been going on for almost two years, Weigl also underlined the fact that the matter did not appear to have been an issue when the Magma Group was on the verge of saving Super Aguri. However, that deal, he added, had actually come at the expense of his own first attempt to get involved with Aguri Suzuki's team.
"Saving Super Aguri is not something that I would have considered, but the team came to me and asked if I could help," he revealed, adding that the first meeting between the parties had come as long ago as January, "Since then, I had been working on a financial plan - but, unfortunately, Mr Fry and Mr Leach of Magma came between us."
According to Weigl, Fry managed to get Leach exclusive negotiating rights with Honda, leading to the British-based group to strike a deal, backed by money from Dubai. Until that point, Weigl and SAF1 had continued to negotiate - and continued to do after the Magma deal fell out of bed on the eve of the Spanish GP. They were joined in Barcelona by Bernie Ecclestone, who insisted that he wanted the team to continue if at all possible and promised to help if needed.
Weigl also claimed that, having been made responsible for the failure of the Magma deal, Fry would not have been helped by a deal with a potential partner dismissed by him.
"Fry did everything to ensure that our deal would not succeed," he insisted