Honda Pulls out of F1 - Analysis

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Honda's pull out from F1 as a full contructor for the SECOND TIME in F1 history has highlighted three things:

1) The economic slowdown has started to affect F1, especially a team like Honda which has been spending a lot of its own money. By contrast, Toyota, which has much deeper pockets than Honda, has had a title sponsor in Panasonic ever since they started competing in 2002. Which brings me to the second point.

2) You need SPONSORS to run an F1 outfit. The last time Honda won a grand prix was in 2006 when they had megabucks sponsorship from British American Tobacco (it was originally BAR-Honda). The following year, Honda was unable to rope in a title sponsor and started its ambitious Earth Dream campaign. In a nutshell it required companies to sign a pledge to be environmentally responsible and find it in their hearts to throw some money towards Honda's F1 operation too. The only catch would be that Honda would not run any of their logos on their liveries. Hence, no money came in and the money soon dried up and Honda started to spend a lot out of their own pocket.

3) Honda's management in F1 has been woefully bad. Not only did they kick out Geoff Willis as technical director after 2006 (when they won the Hungarian Grand Prix and Button outscored every driver on the grid including Schumacher and Alonso over the last six races) they put in charge as techincal director, Shuei Nakamoto, whose previous experience was in motogp. Nakamoto even went on record during Honda's disastrous 2007 campaign that he was lost in F1 having never dealt with the complex aerodynamics that these cars ran. Nakamoto was responsible for the disaster of 2007 and 2008 that made Honda by far the most underachieving team on the grid.

This doesn't mean that other F1 teams with heavy hitting sponsors and high rate cards should think that they're immune to the crisis. Manufacturers will not splurge on activities like motor sports if their current wounds don't stop bleeding soon.

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Good analysis. Isnt there any other team with no sponsor like Honda?

On a lighter note: I am glad people stop drinking beer during a recession. So VJM stays in business. (just a joke. I understand the kind of losses he is facing with his airlines)

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I am not very surprised by their move of pulling out. I think its a smart move in these difficult times. Their cars were just not performing and they have wasted so much of money in devoloping the car without returns, in terms of points. I think it was a losing preposition anyway.

@ Cavallino: Impressed by your posts and knowledge in F1! smiley32.gif

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