Honda to quit F1
5 December 2008 Leave a comment
Today we got the news that Honda was going to leave Formula One with immediate effect. I had heard some mutterings about this over the last few days, but kind of dismissed this because even in these dark economic times, it is important for a company to continue marketing itself.
However, I suppose the writing has been on the wall for some time…
Since its return to Formula One a few years ago, (by taking over the BAR team, who had previously used Honda engines), this was one team that seemed to do a good job in spending a lot of money producing a monstrously poor car.
However, this seemed to be the year that everything was going to change. They had Ross Brawn in charge, (he who turned Ferrari into a winning team after many years in the doldrums), and they had a huge budget. Also this is the year that the Formula One regulations change radically in order to level the playing field somewhat.
But it would seem that it is not to be, Honda will not be participating in any form, as they are not even going to leaving their engines behind, (although it is said that Ross Brawn has already negotiated a supply of engines from Ferrari for any potential buyer).
So it looks like this decision is going to leave Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, (who lets face it had passed his sell by date sometime ago), without a drive for 2009, but more worryingly it could put 800 employees out on the street if a buyer is not found soon.
On his blog, James Allen seems to think that there might be a good chance of other manufacturers pulling out of the sport as well. And of course this logic makes sense, with the current economic environment can you see many people buying a new Toyota, BMW, Mercedes or Ferrari for that matter?