Posted by: wrcnf1 | February 14, 2009

Will Honda Race in 2009?

This question was on my mind quite a bit during January when there was so much speculation about the prospective buyers of the Brackley based team. At that time there were numerous names being thrown out by the press and then being dismissed with the last rumour being that Nick Fry was trying to get the team with a management buyout. Since that story broke along with the ensuing discussion about the ethics of Fry being involved with the processing of other potential bids and then trying to buy the company himself, the Honda story has gone cold.

Today, Autosport.com has a story suggesting that the bosses at Honda F1 are now confident that they will make the season opener in Melbourne, Australia. Earlier this week there was speculation that the team would be ready for Melbourne after it was rumoured that Ross Brawn had circulated an email to staff informing them that the future of the team looked good and they could continue pushing forward with plans for the season. It would appear that work never stopped on the development of the 2009 Honda albeit probably much slower than their competitors.  I never paid any attention to the email rumour but now The Guardian has a quote from Martin Whitmarsh of McLaren stating that they have done as much as possible to help Honda be on the grid in March. It is assumed that the engine supplier will be Mercedes-Benz and all they need is confirmation from Honda that they will have the necessary funds.

I have certainly been skeptical about the chances of Honda to get on the grid in Melbourne or any of the first few rounds since in my opinion anyone serious about buying the team and making the start of the grid should have been selected a long time ago. Also most of the best potential buyers publicly denied being involved in any buyout and David Richards even went on to suggest reasons why it is not a good idea to try to buy the team. Along with speculation that Fry was hoping for a management buyout I just can’t see who would buy the team at such a late date. However, I am no billionaire and I dont pretend to understand how fast  can get the team ready if the funds were available but I have a hunch that there is management buyout or someone very close to one of the team bosses. It would make perfect sense since they would know the potential of their design and would have also known how much work was being contiued on the project.

Considering the fact that Honda was known to have abandoned the 2008 car midway during the season to concentrate on 2009 and that Brawn has always been confident that the car would be very competitive(its Brwans 2nd year also) and with this being Brawn’s second year I wouldn’t bet against him having helped to produce a good challenger. It would make perfect sense for someone to jump at the opportunity already so until I see confirmation that someone has bought the team I will remain skeptical about Honda making it to Melbourne.

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