Grandprix.com are sensationally reporting that the Honda Formula One team might be about to be put on the market for sale. This news comes after the squad has made many cutbacks and made headlines in the motor sporting media for cancelling annual events for staff and media. However, with the possibility of the sport about to lose one of its teams, the antics of employees and photocopiers is put into perspective. This murmuring, however, is yet to be confirmed. Either way.
According to Grandprix.com, many Formula One teams have seen a flow of applications throughout the course of the day, and it seems that the pattern emerging is that of Honda – the staff submitting CVs are apparently Honda employees.
The team held an important meeting earlier today which has been widely reported in the media. It was believed that the centre of discussion was measures to reduce costs in the Honda company, particularly costs involving less-essential parts of the automotive giant. It was also rumoured that redundancies may also have been discussed. And whether you like it or not, Formula One is considered an extra to a car company’s portfolio. In many circumstances, Formula One can be considered an unnecessary expenditure.
However, it wouldn’t be a total surprise if Honda decided it was to shed itself of the burden of a relatively unsuccessful Formula One venture. The company is suffering like many others in the downward turn of the global economy. Grandprix.com are suggesting that Honda would like to sell before Christmas, which seems highly unlikely given the current financial climate.
So this begs some questions…
…Would you miss the Honda team if the rumour proved accurate and they didn’t turn up in Australia next year? What would happen to Jenson Button? Would he go the same way as Anthony Davidson and struggle to find a new employer? Or do you think this has all been taken out of context and Honda are not yet about to sell up and walk away from the sport?
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According to Pitpass their sources inside the factory say that Honda are speaking to 2 potential buyers and will close the team down if no deal is done before the start of the season.
If the team does close down Button is history. There have not been teams queuing up for his services in recent years and there is little if any evidence that his contribution to Honda has achieved anything.
If only I had a couple billion laying around …
@Mike: I posted this to Twitter about an hour ago (at the time of writing this comment)
Always the problem with manufacturers in F1 – the team can have wonderful plans for the future but, if the board decide it’s time to save money, it can all be gone in a moment.
I hope, I really hope a certain Mr Ecclestone has begun kicking himself right now.
Formula One was, and hopefully will be, about constructors. Manufacturers are welcome in my mind, but the sport should never, ever, rely on them. Formula One is about the Franks, the Colins and the Eddies (and all the other privateers).
Without meaning to sound hurtful, because potentially a lot of people have just been made redundant and the sport could be about to suffer serious consequences from this. But…
…I wonder what kind of mood Aguri Suzuki is in right now?
[…] said in the comments on the previous post that Bernie Ecclestone should be kicking himself right now, and I stand by those words. For too […]
guys, we can take the team over. Honda will be glad if someone takes the burden away from them. all we need is abt 200 mil a year to run it on shoestring budget 🙂
Sadly, it looks like Honda’s exit is a done deal.
In reading the comments from bosses in Japan at this hour (2:30 am EST) I am most curious about the potential new owners being lined up. Obviously that could just be window-dressing to cusion the blow for the eployees, but hopefully someone will step in and take control of the operation in the near future.
What does anyone think that the Honda team would be worth? How much, if anything, can Honda accept to “sell” the team for?
After all, what are you “buying” when you buy the team. A 2009 car and a staff… Anything else?
Would Honda keep providing engines for the 2009 team? How long before the new owner would have to start supplying their own engines and other components?
It seems to me that the only benefit of buying Honda would be a “quick start” in that you wouldn’t have to hire a load of staff and design a car for the first year. After the first year, as new owner you’d probably be forced to find all new suppliers, so really you are only getting one years worth of benefit.