88 (64 starts)
8 September 1960 (age 55)Tokyo, Japan (
Takuma Sato, Yuji Ide, Sakon Yamamoto, Anthony Davidson, Franck Montagny
Aguri Suzuki (鈴木 亜久里, Suzuki Aguri, born 8 September 1960) is a Japanese former racing driver. He participated in 88 Formula One Grands Prix, and his most notable achievement in racing was 3rd place at the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix. Suzuki then became involved in team ownership, with interests firstly in the Japanese Formula Nippon Championship and the IRL in partnership with Mexican racer Adrian Fernandez. Most notably however, he was the owner of the Super Aguri F1 team, which participated in Formula One from 2006 to 2008. He then went on to form Team Aguri, which raced in Formula E from 2014 to 2016.
- Onboard Aguri Suzuki at Snetterton 1992 Footwork FA13 tests
- F1 Suzuka Grand Prix 1993 Aguri Suzuki overtakes Ukyo Katayama
- Early career
- Formula One career
- After Formula One
Onboard Aguri Suzuki at Snetterton - 1992 (Footwork FA13 tests)
F1 Suzuka Grand Prix 1993 - Aguri Suzuki overtakes Ukyo Katayama
Suzuki began racing karts in 1972, at the age of 12. In 1978 he won the Japanese kart championship and in 1979 made his debut in the Japanese Formula Three (All-Japan F3) championship. He continued in karting and in 1981 was again Japanese Kart Champion. In 1983 he finished second in the All-Japan F3 series, driving a Hayashi-Toyota. He then turned to touring car racing and, driving for the Nissan factory team won the Japanese title in 1986. The same year he made his debut in Japanese F2 and drove in the Le Mans 24 Hours. In 1987 he finished runner-up in the Japanese F3000 series, winning one race (Suzuka). In 1988, driving a March-Yamaha he won the title with three wins (Fuji, Nishi-Nippon and Suzuka).
Formula One career
In 1988, Suzuki raced in European F3000 with Footwork, before he debuted in Formula One on October 30 at his home race, replacing the ill Yannick Dalmas in the Larrousse-Lola. Zakspeed, who were using Yamaha engines, hired Suzuki for 1989, when he gained the unenviable record of failing to pre-qualify in all 16 races (at that time there were 39 entrants fighting for 26 places on the grid, so 9 uncompetitive cars were removed on Friday morning).
For 1990 and 1991, he drove again for Larrousse. Three sixth-places were dwarfed by 3rd place at Suzuka – the first ever podium for an Asian driver in F1 – which turned him into a local hero. He also set the second fastest lap, and observers began to think seriously about a Japanese contender in the series. The 1990 season would prove the pinnacle of Suzuki's racing career.
In 1992 and 1993, he was at Footwork alongside Michele Alboreto and then Derek Warwick, but both usually outperformed him. He shared a Ligier with Martin Brundle in 1995, but only scored one point in his races, and was criticised by Mika Salo after the two collided in Buenos Aires. Suzuka had been inextricably linked to Suzuki's F1 career and irony played its part in ensuring that was where it ended. A massive crash in practice caused a neck injury which saw him miss the race, and he immediately announced his retirement.
In F1, Suzuki achieved one podium and scored a total of eight championship points. At the time he retired, he was the second most successful Japanese driver ever in F1 after Satoru Nakajima, but Takuma Sato and Kamui Kobayashi has since passed them both.
After Formula One
He later moved on to JGTC and remained involved in Japanese driver development. In 2000, with long term sponsor Autobacs, he would run the ARTA (Autobacs Racing Team Aguri) who despite winning the GT300 title in 2002, would expand to DTM a season later and launched Super Aguri Fernandez Racing with Adrian Fernandez, running cars in the IRL. Aguri still competes in both categories in Super GT, with team director/former driver Keiichi Tsuchiya managing the GT300 class, running the ASL Garaiya, a car his main sponsor helped to fund and develop. They race a Honda NSX-GT in the GT500 class, as well as a BMW M6 GT3 in the GT300 class.
From 2006 Suzuki ran the Super Aguri F1 Formula One team with the backing of Honda. He managed to put together his new team in just four and half months from his initial announcement on 1 November 2005. The team overcame the hurdle of its initial entry being rejected by the FIA after not securing financial guarantees before the entry deadline, and their acceptance was not formally confirmed until 26 January 2006. The team made its debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix on 12 March 2006. On 6 May 2008, after competing in the opening four races of the season, the team withdrew from Formula One due to financial problems.
Suzuki's helmet is white with a red line with black sides surrounding the top, a red and black line going from the Rear down the chin (forming an A) and a black circle on the top.