Late in 2014 I had the great fortune of being able to sit with Aguri Suzuki and chat about the past, present and future of racing. Suzuki-San – astute as ever – predicted the rise of technology partners and ‘privateer’ teams in Formula E, but little did we know that a fleeting reference to the recent past would have such resonance this season.
I asked Suzuki-San what his feelings were like when Takuma Sato overtook Fernando Alonso at the Canadian Grand Prix that year to take sixth for Super Aguri – their biggest and final points haul before winding up operations.
“A very special feeling” he replied - the grin on Suzuki-San’s face adding the required parenthesis for his short response.
Super Aguri Honda punched well and truly above their weight that year. Yes, it may have been courtesy of a factory Honda power-plant and a 2006 aero package that proved superior to the vastly inadequate factory team, but it owed just as much to the technical savvy of one Mark Preston.
Two years later and Preston and co are on the threshold of executing another giant-killing effort with Techeetah (formerly Team Aguri) with a Renault power-plant that has already given their French suppliers a scare.
Preston spent a good year utilising mapping software to elevate a 12-month old power-unit further up the grid than it should have been on occasion. Now with - arguably - the best power package available to him, its no surprise that Techeetah have been topping the time-sheets.
I’ll be watching eagerly to see if history is set to repeat itself, albiet on a much grander scale. I hope Suzuki-San enjoys the ride watching from the sidelines.