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Honda quits formula one amid financial crunch !

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Honda F1 Team 25 Nov

The Honda formula one team claimed to power dreams, one lap at a time, but it seems their batteries ran out of juice, just a metaphor for the fact that they probably ran out of money to sustain a fully featured formula one team.

Car makers have been one of the worst affected by the ongoing global financial meltdown triggered by idiotic bank policies in the west where they would give credit to any loser who had defaulted on scores of loans in his past. As a result, the money available in the market is less, and couple that with low liquidity, the working capital has shrunken and so has the market, facing such a crunch, Honda decided it was best to pull out of the money guzzling sport of formula one. You may read the official reactions from the Honda formula one team.

Nick Fry:

“Despite the obvious disappointment that we all felt on hearing the news from Honda Motor Co. we do understand that this decision was one which they felt they had to take in light of the current global economic situation and the resulting impact on the worldwide automobile market.

“Last night’s meeting with the staff was difficult for everyone but judging by what we have seen here in Brackley today, that has quickly given rise to a steely determination. The directors of the Honda Racing F1 Team now intend to make every effort possible to secure the future of the team and we know we can count on the continued support and fighting spirit of the great team of people we have here in Brackley. Our staff have been a credit to themselves, to our team and to Formula One over the past 24 hours and I would like to take this opportunity to say how proud we are of them today.

“The RA109, our 2009 F1 contender, is our first car developed under the technical leadership of Ross Brawn. With the resources Ross has at his disposal and confirmation that Honda will provide the necessary support to complete the car in time for the first race in Melbourne, I am sure that we can still have a very successful 2009 season if a new owner can be found. One new major sponsor is already signed for 2009 and discussions are well advanced with others. Offers of support from around the world have been generous and I’m sure that with that kind of goodwill towards the team we have a good chance of competing even in this difficult economic situation.

“We have had a number of potentially suitable investors approach us since the news broke and we now we want to make sure that we have the right owner for the team to enable to us to continue at the right level.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Formula One can have a good future and that this team can be part of it. The sport, including FOTA, the FIA and FOM, is already well down the road of ensuring a more sustainable existence and I’m sure that this work will continue to accelerate in the coming weeks, making our team a very good investment for the right buyer.”

Ross Brawn:

“Our information is that, relative to the other teams, we have a very strong car in development here at Brackley and we will continue to develop the RA109 to ensure a strong start to 2009 and improvement through the season.
“This is a unique opportunity. The facilities we have here are among the best in the sport as a result of multi-million pound investments over the past 24 months. We have a fantastic workforce and a car that could be one of the best.
“Honda are keen to help us try to preserve the team and fortunately we have some time to react. If this had happened closer to the season it would have been much more difficult. It’s a fantastic opportunity for someone to step into what will be a very competitive team next year. The facilities here are amongst the best in Formula One, the workforce is definitely one of the best in Formula One and we have a great car in progress for next year. We have aspirations to be at the front of the grid and we want to find investors who have the same ambitions.

“I would like to thank the staff here at Brackley for a fantastic demonstration of courage and fortitude today despite difficult circumstances. I am proud to be part of this team.”

Jenson Button:

“As you can imagine, I was totally shocked by yesterday’s news. The process of absorbing it is one that will continue for some days to come, so the only focus today was being here at Brackley to return the support I have counted on throughout our past six years together. I am sure I will have more to say in the coming days but today is about the people I consider my team – and what a fantastic group of people they are.”

Written by Formula One Addict

December 6th, 2008 at 12:54 pm

RIP :Super Aguri (2006-2008)

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Super Aguri Logo

Well Honda’s (Nick Fry ?) arrogance to selling the team combined with a financial crunch has helped reduce the grid by 2 cars. The Super Aguri team were not allowed to access the Istanbul track facilities quite embarrassingly with the team and trucks being turned away as i have heard.

DavidsonAguri2007

A while ago there was talk of Spice Energy buying the team given the condition that Indian drivers be given a chance. At that time super egoistic Nick Fry had rubbished the condition and now he has infact rubbished the team which was looking more promising than Honda’s own team. The statement from the team read ::

“We find it difficult to establish a way to continue the activities within the environment surrounding F-1 and as a result Super Aguri have concluded to withdraw from the championship”

Magma group of Dubai and Weigl AG also couldn’t save the ailing team in last-minute efforts.

Aguri Suzuki who was a racer himself had the following to say :

“Super Aguri will be ceasing its racing activities as of today,”

“It had always been my dream to be a Formula One owner. The past two and a half years have flown past but I have no regrets.”

“Magma pulled out suddenly, and without any explanation, and since then I have been flying all over the world talking to other companies but was unable to secure a deal.

“Financially it was just impossible to continue in F1 with the enormous budgets needed today. We did reach a basic agreement with Weigl but were always battling against time.”

He also criticised Nick Fry :

“I don’t understand how suddenly Nick Fry needs to be commenting on everything,” said Suzuki.

“Honda were our backers and he’s not the CEO of Honda. I have no interest in Nick Fry whatsoever and have no idea what he was talking about.”

The references are to Nick Fry’s criticism of all companies which tried to save Super Aguri, its also rumoured that it was Nick Fry who had told the FIA that Super Aguri will no longer participate in formula one.

The withdrawal leaves the future of Anthony Davidson and Takuma Sato uncertain.

Written by Formula One Addict

May 7th, 2008 at 3:36 am

Spice Energy says Super Aguri deal only if Narain in it

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Another Indian formula one team ? , it might not be true after all. Nick Fry had claimed that having Narain onboard would not be so great for the Super Aguri team. Nick Fry who i respected a lot earlier arrogantly claimed that Narain will not be a good standard to work with.

“I would not personally be convinced that Karthikeyan would be of an acceptable standard for us” Nick Fry was quoted.

Meanwhile Spice Energy who is in talks to buyout the team has rebutted Fry’s claims and made it clear the only reason it wants to invest in a formula one team is to give Indian formula one drivers a chance at formula one and who better they say than Narain Karthikeyan who had impressed many with his gutsy driving in the Jordans. Anyway i am not so sure if its a good idea to support an Indian driver by buying a team, but i also disagree with Fry’s baseless comments. Narain has a lot of formula one experience in him especially testing which would make his feedback pretty good. Also Fry should be looking to give some Honda race experience to the Super Aguri drivers as they are ‘pretty good’ in his opinion. Oh wait, i forgot, they kicked Honda butts in Super Aguris, i guess thats the reason Fry thinks they are so good (maybe a nice look at the two cars would do the trick for him and tell him that Honda’s cars are pretty bad and that its not the Aguri drivers who are topshot).

Statement by Spice Energy :

“To begin with, the discussions are at a very preliminary stage.

Right now they are centred on commercial feasibility. But our main mission is to support Indian drivers and give Narain the opportunity to drive in F1 again,”

“So you can say the deal is contingent on this condition,” Spokesperson for Spice Energy Neha Rastogi said

With truckloads of money in the bank and a super booming economy, Indian companies will be more than willing to support any Indian F1 prospects and having an Indian Driver will obviously make more commercial sense too. If Spice Energy buys Super Aguri it would pay about 66 million USD plus a dollar (token amount). The 66 million will be used to write off the huge debt that the Super Aguri team is already in.

Written by Formula One Addict

February 2nd, 2008 at 5:14 pm

Ferrari rise from ashes as Kimi wins French Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen French Grand Prix

It was straight out of a well written movie script, in the recent races Ferrari had fallen far behind in terms of pace and till last race most people were wondering if this would be an all McLaren season. But thankfully, Ferrari regained form today scoring an impressive 1-2, with Kimi winning the race and Felipe Massa coming second. Lewis Hamilton of McLaren came third completing the top 3. The Ferraris completely dominated the race.

lewis_hamilton_france_2007

Another surprise was Jenson Button, he finally scored a point in the souped up Honda and thus put Honda on the leader board. Robert Kubica back from injury was an impressive fourth and Nick Heidfeld was fifth scoring two great finishes for the BMW Sauber formula one team.

Fernando Alonso who started 10th made his way upto 7th place. Hamilton now leads him by 14 points in the Driver’s championship.

Toyota’s Jarno Trulli was out on the first lap, but teammate Ralf Schumacher was able to salvage some pride for the Toyota team getting 10th place just 1 short of a point scoring position.

Final Result of the 2007 formula one French Grand Prix

1. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1hr 30min 54.200
2. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari +00:02.414
3. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren-Mercedes 00:32.153
4. Robert Kubica (Poland) BMW Sauber 00:41.727
5. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber 00:46.801
6. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Renault 00:52.210
7. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren-Mercedes 00:56.516
8. Jenson Button (Britain) Honda 00:58.885
9. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Williams-Toyota 01:08.505
10. Ralf Schumacher (Germany) Toyota 1 lap
11. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Honda 1 lap
12. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull – Renault 1 lap
13. David Coulthard (Britain) RedBull – Renault 1 lap
14. Alexander Wurz (Austria) Williams – Toyota 1 lap
15. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Renault 1 lap
16. Takuma Sato (Japan) Super Aguri-Honda 2 laps
17. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Spyker-Ferrari 2 laps
r. Scott Speed (U.S.) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 15 laps
r. Christijan Albers (Netherlands) Spyker-Ferrari 42 laps
r. Anthony Davidson (Britain) Super Aguri-Honda 69 laps
r. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Toyota 69 laps
r. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 70 laps

r = retired

Fastest Lap: Felipe Massa, 1:16.099, lap 42.

Felipe_Massa_France_2007

Honda Launch their new car RA107

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Honda 2007 interim livery Honda launched their new car the RA107 at Spain with an interim black livery till the new livery is released by them in february. Jenson Button seemed upbeat about the launch. Button who is back in action after breaking his ribs in a karting accident in November stressed on the importance of consistency for the Honda formula one team.

“If we are going to be at the front, then you have to be competitive from the first race to the last,” Button said

But it seems Honda had other ideas , his car stopped just three corners from the start, the car was taken back to the pits and was repaired and soon Jenson Button was zooming on the tracks. Team Boss Nick Fry who has often publicly admired Jenson Button had the following to say on the launch :

“Last year we got off to a reasonable start and were pretty good by the end of the year, but in the middle we were weak in a number of races, which was very disappointing,”

“Even in our best year of 2004 we had a slump in the middle, so our objective is to start competitive, be competitive in the middle of the season and finish strongly as well.

“If we can do that then it will be a strong step in the right direction towards winning a championship, which is the ultimate objective.”

Written by Formula One Addict

January 26th, 2007 at 12:05 pm

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