Q&A with Super Aguris sporting director Graham Taylor 25 Jun 2007
Although Takuma Sato will face a ten-place grid penalty at Magny-Cours for passing under yellow flags at the United States Grand Prix, Super Aguri are feeling confident ahead of this weekends French race. Graham Taylor, the Japanese teams sporting director, provides an inside view of the squads preparations
Q: Graham, we are now almost half-way through the season, please give us your thoughts on the year so far for Super Aguri
Graham Taylor: I believe that the team has performed above its station on all levels. The driver pairing that we have has enabled us to make steps forward in our preparations for each race. The addition of Ants (Anthony Davidson) technical ability paired with Takus (Takuma Sato) F1 experience has settled into a good relationship immediately, with the engineering team benefiting from both cars in all sessions over a race weekend. This has put pressure on everyone in the team and on many occasions we have been able to show our true potential.
Our target was to join the F1 fraternity and score a point. Now that we have amassed four points it has left us hungry for more and increased our fighting spirit even further. Certainly Ants time for scoring a point should not be far away.
Q: What are the challenges for the team and drivers at the next race at Magny-Cours?
GT: The preparations for Magny-Cours have been a challenge, with effectively all the teams having to race four times in five weekends. Getting the freight back from the flyaways and preparing the cars in a very short time scale, combined with testing in between these races, stretches a small team such as Super Aguri. The Magny-Cours circuit offers a different challenge to the race in North America, with higher downforce levels required. Both drivers have fresh engines for this race, however with the penalty that Taku has to carry for this event, it forces us to have a different strategy on his car and it will be a tough weekend for him. But the team and drivers have high levels of confidence and spirit, thats the Super Aguri way.
Q: Do you have anything updates for the French Grand Prix?
GT: Super Aguri continues its development and as such both cars will receive an aero upgrade for the French Grand Prix.
Q: How has the Super Aguri team changed since the 2006 French Grand Prix?
GT: We had a good race with Franck Montagny last year at Magny-Cours, but a lot has changed since then. The progress within the team has been linear, because up until that point last year it was exponential. The attitude is the same, but the professionalism and experience is far higher. We expect good performances and results now rather than just celebrating them.
Q: So have the objectives for the team been revised for the remainder of the year?
GT: Absolutely. We are constantly challenging our horizons and each event leaves us, as I said, hungry for more. We had a fantastic result in Canada and are currently in eighth position in the Formula One constructors championship and we will fight to stay there.