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Thursday, December 4, 2008

UPDATED: Honda's F1 exit

Multiple sources are reporting Honda will either sell their F1 team or close it down by March 2009.

James Allen has analysis.

Rumors continue to swirl. Midweek Motorsport is sending the following to its listener's collective on Facebook:

There are strong indications, by which I mean rumblings from inside the factory, that Honda F1 is on the verge of shutting down, or, at least, a substantial degree of downsizing.

Our F1 correspondent, Nick Daman, suggests that this could be the (Honda) prelude to a takeover by the family Todt. This would potentially lead to a change of engines at the team and the logical choice would be the Ferrari powerplants that Force India no longer want.

Our not F1 correspondent, Declan Brennan, adds that this would also reunite Ferrari with Ross Brawn and create a Ferrari 'B Team' to match that of Mclaren's 'farm team' Force India.

There is a great deal of adding two plus two and getting 'Corby Trouser Press' here, but we feel this is part of the Midweek Motorsport ongoing commitment to speculate the shite out of everything and everyone.

We will of course, discuss this in more made up detail next week our last show of the year.

Major sources are now reporting the story, and the big question is, what's next? Finding a buyer will be a major task. There are always interested parties, but finding the money is always the deal breaker. Obviously, this calls into question Bernie Ecclestone's contractual car count requirements, especially with questions hanging over Toro Rosso's future plans.

All of this highlights the folly of placing your future in the hands of the auto manufacturers at the expense of the privateers. When it comes down to boardrooms and shareholders and the bottom line, racing is just another investment that can be lopped off the budget, not a passion to be pursued at all costs.

The major F1 news organizations are all over this, and links can be found in the news section further down the page. The blogs are also buzzing, and you can see what they're saying under SpeedRead's Blogroll on the sidebar.

**grandprix.com has an interesting breakdown of how the drop in U.S. sales has hurt other F1 participants. A fascinating look at how a country without a race and limited interest in the sport holds so much sway over it. Bernie might not need the U.S., but F1's manufacturers do.**

And, of course, I'll keep updating as information becomes available.
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