Saturday, December 6

Sayonara Honda

Honda’s has pulled the plug on its Formula One racing program. The company said that the global recession and its impact on the automotive industry had left the company with no choice but to withdraw from Formula One.

Takeo Fukui, President and CEO, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. made the announcement on December 5, 2008. He also indicated that the Honda team is for sale.

Honda’s ‘Earth Dreams’ has come to an end (hopefully for now).

What is more intriguing is the statement made by the FIA president Max Mosley who quoted saying that the Formula One teams are run by technicians who are better off playing video games. He made all the right noises about reducing the spiraling costs and also predicted the end of Formula One racing if his advice was not taken seriously.

Formula One and cost cutting do not gel together. They make F1 look pedestrian. Apart from the Big Two teams who have bottomless pockets to dip into, other teams are on a knife edge. Cost cutting measures would widen the gap between the have’s and the have not’s. The past two years have been close only because the Big Two have managed to continue development in spite of all the restrictions. If one takes them out of the equation, there would be no difference between a vintage car rally and Formula One.

Formula One is and should always be the pinnacle of motoring sport where cutting edge technology and speed are on proud display. It is the ultimate bragging right for the car manufacturers. But with all these cost cutting measures and restrictions, who would want to race in it?

Recession is hurting many teams and with this in mind, the F1 boss should put Formula One on hold until the teams tide it out. How noble would that be? But who would want to kill the golden goose? They would rather see F1 cars puttering round a track at 60mph (that would where all these cost cutting measures and restrictions would lead to).

However, I have a question. What will happen when the goose stops laying golden eggs?

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