In yet another crisis to hit motoring in general and F1 specifically, Honda announced that it would be pulling out of the sport if a new owner wasn’t in place. Yet again, the blame is putting put squarely on the doorstep of the global financial mess that we call the world economy.
Interestingly, this will leave both Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello without cars currently – something neither of them can be relishing the prospect of given the fact that there are only a few mid-table places left.
Honda spent more than £300 million on F1 (including last year, which didn’t see any particularly amazing results to credit such spending power), without too much to show for it. This has led to a deadline of January being set – with the workers in Brackley being told to expect letters of redundancy prior to Christmas.
Once again, we’re seeing the situation where a large company is being offered for (some speculate) £1, however to actually compete then they’d need to be awash with money to the tune of £40 million. Perhaps what’s most surprising is that there’ll be only 18 cars on the grid next year – next exactly a huge number. What makes F1 worse is the, at times, difference in the performance of the cars.
Max Mosley – President of the FIA – has encouraged F1 teams to find cost cutting measures. This is sensible for two reasons. The first is that globally, it’s probably better to tighten purse strings, whatever you may be involved in (especially when it happens to be one of the most expensive, if not the most expensive, sports in the world). Secondly, it highlights that even this world of glitz, glamour, fast cars and ladies can all come tumbling down.
Ultimately, I’d love to see Honda competing again, but if that’s not going to happen any time in the next couple of seasons, perhaps we can hope for an independent team that will be able to challenge for the top spot? Now that’s something I’d like to see