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.