Guest diablo Posted December 5, 2008 Share Posted December 5, 2008 Honda confirms Formula 1 exit Honda has confirmed it is quitting Formula 1 with immediate effect due to the impact the global financial crisis has had its core car business. The Japanese manufacturer has put its Brackley-based team up for sale and itv.com/f1 sources understand that if no buyer for the operation is found by March then the team will close before the start of the 2009 season. Honda’s bombshell decision, the first reports of which emerged on Thursday evening, was confirmed by Honda Japan at a press conference in Tokyo on Friday morning. The decision puts the futures of its 700-strong workforce, including team principal Ross Brawn, under threat and raises the possibility that Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello could be without 2009 drives. Honda, who have recently cut road car production in both Japan and Europe, says the global climate has forced it to make the tough decision to end its F1 involvement for the wider good of the firm. “We, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., have come to the conclusion that we will withdraw from all Formula 1 activities, making 2008 the last season of participation,” Honda president Takeo Fukui said in a statement. “This difficult decision has been made in light of the quickly deteriorating operating environment facing the global auto industry. “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 optimize the allocation of management resources, including investment regarding the future, we have decided to withdraw from Formula 1 participation.” Fukui added it will now look to sell on its F1 operation, adding: “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.” The decision brings to an end the Japanese carmaker’s eight-year involvement with the Brackley squad having initially been an engine supplier to BAR for five years. After buying a 45% share in the team in 2004, Honda fully bought out former owners British American Tobacco in September 2005 and the team ran under the Honda name from the following season. However despite being one of the biggest and best funded teams on the grid, it had failed to make a breakthrough at the front of the field with just Jenson Button’s single win at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2006. During the last two seasons it has slumped towards the back of the grid, finishing ninth in this year’s constructors’ championship, but was anticipating a big step forward in 2009 following Brawn’s appointment as team boss last November. Fukui admitted it had been a difficult decision to make to pull Honda out of F1 before achieving its goals as a team owner and he thanked both it’s staff and fans for their support of the project. “Surmounting many challenges, the Honda Team achieved a grand prix victory in 2006, enabling Honda to receive overwhelming support from Honda fans around the world that were looking forward to greater success,” he said. “It, therefore, has been an extremely difficult decision for us to come to this conclusion without having been able to fully meet the expectations of our fans. “By making the best of what we have learned during these times of economic turmoil, coupled with the spirit of challenge gained through active participation in racing, we intend to continue with our commitment in meeting new challenges. “Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our fans and all those who have supported Honda's Formula 1 efforts, including everyone in the world of Formula 1." Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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