Earlier today, several sources were reporting that F1 teams across Europe were getting a large number of job applications from Honda F1 personnel, leading to rumors that Honda was getting ready to sell off it’s Fomula 1 team. Well those rumors are true.
Apparently, the manufacturer is giving the team until March to find a buyer, at which point they’ll just pull the plug and withdraw funding from the team. A team spokesperson said Honda will make an official statement on all this tomorrow. This is very, very big news; read on to hear why:
Even though they’re not a top team, Honda is a big name in the sport – and their leaving will definitely give the other teams something to think about. The economy is bad for everyone, and Formula 1 is not a cheap sport. Estimates are that Honda was spending upwards of $400 million a year on it’s constantly winless F1 team. FIA prez Max Mosley just recently commented that the sport is becoming “unsustainable” because of the huge amount of money a team needs to compete. Honda’s withdrawal may get other teams considering a mass exodus from the sport.
Even if it is just Honda, who’s going to buy them? The economy is bad for everyone, it’s going to be extremely difficult to find a company willing to take on that $400 million dollar a year burden. On top of that, even if they do find someone who wants the team, credit is very tight, so where’s the money coming from?
And then there are the drivers to consider. Where will Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello go? Will they get picked up by another team? Go unemployed this year?
So many questions. Stay tuned for the official statement tomorrow.