Japanese team confirms withdrawal from F1

Honda has confirmed that it is to pull out of Formula One with immediate effect, and that it is placing its team in Brackley up for sale.

The Japanese giant, which endured a disastrous 2008 season as it concentrated on designing and developing a 2009 challenger built to the sport’s new regulations, has been forced to rethink its commitment to F1 in the wake of reduced production at key car plants (including Swindon) and falling US sales.

In a prepared statement issued early this morning, Honda’s president and CEO Takeo Fukui said, “We, Honda Motor Co. Ltd., have come to the conclusion that we will withdraw from all Formula One activities, making 2008 the last season of participation.

“This difficult decision has been made in light of the quickly deteriorating operating environment facing the global auto industry, brought on by the sub-prime problem in the United States, the deepening credit crisis and the sudden contraction of the world economies.

“Honda must protect its core business activities and secure the long term as widespread uncertainties in the economies around the globe continue to mount. A recovery is expected to take some time.

“Under these circumstances, Honda has taken swift and flexible measures to counter this sudden and expansive weakening of the marketplace in all business areas. However, in recognition of the need to optimise the allocation of management resources, including investment regarding the future, we have decided to withdraw from Formula One participation.

We will enter into consultation with the associates of Honda Racing F1 Team and its engine supplier Honda Racing Development regarding the future of the two companies. This will include offering the team for sale.”

Honda has not issued an official time limit on the sale of its Brackley concern, which employs around 600 people. But sources indicate that if a buyer is not found by the end of December, the team will be closed down.

Given the current economic climate and the scale of development required to build a competitive car for the 2009 rules, finding an investor willing to bankroll such a large operation is likely to prove extremely difficult. There are already rumours that Bernie Ecclestone may step in to try and broker a deal that would keep Honda in the sport.

The decision is bad news for British driver Jenson Button; all of F1’s top teams have already finalised their driver plans for 2009, and most have settled line-ups for 2010 as well.

John McIlroy

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Comments
45

4 December 2008

It's not just in the real world then that governing bodies have to dig out struggling companies then.

Silly question may be but why don't Honda actually go out and look for sponsorship? Have they not run their own liveried cars for the past year or so, where perfectly good sponsorship logo's could have gone?

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

4 December 2008

Jenson Button must be gutted, I bet he wishes he had gone to Williams; I hope he gets a drive; RB will be fine (can go to Ferrari); I just hope Jenson can get a drive; maybe with any luck he can get into (if all else fails) red bull re. stand in for duff leg webber.

I hope they find another buyer, it does not even have to be a car manufacturer, trouble is who has the money; maybe Bernie is thinking of running down the pre-divorce cash clock!

4 December 2008

[quote TegTypeR]Silly question may be but why don't Honda actually go out and look for sponsorship? Have they not run their own liveried cars for the past year or so, where perfectly good sponsorship logo's could have gone? [/quote]

Yeah but who is forking out for marketing at the moment ? I reckon they'd be lucky. Honda are on a global expense cutting drive. Like everyone else, they're in deep sh it.

4 December 2008

That's it....that volume of advertising is hard to get....and on last years results what would they get anyway.....about £0:50p; maybe middle eastern investment.

I am surprised at Honda though; I just hope Jenson gets a drive, he is a good driver.

On Sky news they are saying Honda are making an annoucement tomorrow and that unless they get a buyer at the end of the month.....that's it.....no more F1 Honda.

AV

4 December 2008

What a shame. Anyone with petrol in their veins will be sorry to see Honda exit F1. However, if this is the price that must be paid for Honda's refusal to cut manufacturing jobs then it is worth paying. Perhaps when the economic climate improves they can go back to supplying Williams with engines and recreate a great partnership.

4 December 2008

Unfortunately, this is probably not the last team to quit. Ask yourself this - why did Honda run their own advertising on their cars? Answer - because they couldn't get sponsorship. Super Aguri couldn't find any viable sponsors even though they hit above their standing.

Ross B is a major assest, Jenson B not so. Never really been able to live up to the hype generated about him. I know there's a lot of Button fans here, and please don't flame me, but if I were the team boss I'd keep Barrichello because of his performance and get a rookie in. Personally, I'd like to see Button getting some really good results.

Moving on from F1, don't expect the WRC to look the same next year, nor touring cars. WRC has such a low profile in the UK that as an advertising medium it's invisible - you've got to hunt for it on the Dave channel and the WRC website is terrible. Touring cars have only had two manufacturers in it for years, would it be viable if even one of those pulled out?

5 December 2008

I am a fan of F1, I am not the biggest fan of Jenson's (I have a lot of respect for him); I think he an outstanding driver, he has a great style/smoothness about his work; in a good car he is as fast as anyone; I think he had a raw deal in F1 so far, but he brings something different to the sport, so I hope he gets a drive; he is capable of winning a world title (for sure) he just needs a good car (Renault maybe).

Skipping to Honda, it seems so strange, sorry to mention strategy again, but if you spent all your time building the new 2009 car with all the real money spent in 2008 developing it why would you pull out in 2009; Honda are not shy of a bob or two.....and coudl easily fund a season.......I wonder if the new 2009 car is simply not any good?.....I have not seen really any comparable test times (not sure if anyone else has? i.e. see if it is quick?) and living up to its billing?

5 December 2008

So Bernie may help eh? I am sure he can....as for the past 20 years or so he has been taking 60%+ of all of the revenue from the sport. I am sure he has a few spare quid can use. Finally some common sense in the asylum!!

Just what is the point of trying to compete if the sponsorship revenue does not give you enough to make a small profit on the whole game? Unless you are McLaren or have a certain red colour and the FIA's ear why even bother at all?

5 December 2008

I wonder if Ross Brawn and possibly Nick Fry will try to cobble something together, maybe as a tie-in with Ferrari who now have new found capacity, and possibly a commercial urge, with Force India moving over to Mercedes engines.

5 December 2008

there are talks that Bernie eclstone might step in and form a deal with Ross brawn to save them.

By the way honda i'm not a marketing genius but isn't the a big this called a f1 car that goes racing round tracks where you could copy every f1 team for the last 20-30 years and farther back and sell it for sponsorship.

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