Posts Tagged ‘honda’

Five Best Formula One Adverts

April 28th, 2009 No comments

Sky F1 Monsters adFormula One and ads don’t really go together any more now that the BBC has taken over from ITV (at least in the UK.)

No longer do we need to worry about missing something vital just as the producer cuts to an ad break – although for those without the ability to pause live TV this has been replaced with the new problem of when to go for a ‘comfort break’.

But just because we hate ads interrupting races doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate a good commercial on our own time.  So with that in mind, here are five of the best F1-themed adverts, ever.

Sky – Monsters: The awesome Sky ad on the right is by Italian advertising agency 1861.  It is worth having a browse around their site just to see some of their other print and video work.

Tag Heuer – The Duel: In 1969, Tag Heuer introduced the world’s first automatic chronograph.  The ‘Monaco’ was radical for its time in also being the first square-cased, water resitant watch in history.  A year later Steve McQueen wore a blue Monaco in the classic motor racing film Le Mans.  Now, forty years later, Lewis Hamilton stars alongside Steve McQueen in a video promoting the Monaco.  If you guess who will win you can win some nice prizes including a limited edition Monaco watch.

Honda – Impossible Dream: At the end of 2004 Honda were on a high.  Their engines had driven BAR to second place in the Constructors’ Championship in a season dominated by Schumacher and Ferrari.  In September of 2005 Honda purchased the remaining 55% of BAR to become an F1 constructor in their own right for the first time in nearly forty years.  Over the next few years Honda would slip further and further down the results before selling the team to Ross Brawn in 2009.

But in December of 2005 the future still looked bright for Honda and they released the ‘Impossible Dream’ commercial, featuring British actor Simon Day riding and driving various Hondas through the New Zealand countryside.  Starting on a monkey bike, he progresses from a Super Cub scooter to an ATV, an S500 sports car to a huge Gold Wing motor cycle to a FireBlade superbike.  He blasts an S2000 down a gravel road and a TT bike up through a forest.  An NSX, the supercar designed with Ayrton Senna’s help, makes an appearance before the beautiful 1965 RA272 F1 car morphs into the BAR 007.  Finally, Day drives a powerboat off the edge of a waterfall only to emerge in a hot-air ballon.

Unfortunately for Honda, it really was an impossible dream.

Shell – Refuelling: In 1997 Shell took an airplane, a Formula One car and some cameras deep into the Mojave Desert.  What they came out with was pure, unrefined awesomeness.

Shell – Circuit: We finish with another Ferrari/Shell ad that could possibly be the greatest motoring advert of all time.  ‘Circuit’ features a stunning array of Ferraris from the last 60 years driving the ultimate street circuit through Rome, New York, Rio, Hong Kong and Monaco.  The cars are beautiful but the sounds they make are sublime. Turn it up.

Categories: Opinion Tags: , ,

Honda is saved

March 6th, 2009 No comments

Brawn GPAfter months of speculation, rumour and no comment an official announcement has finally been made that the Team Formerly Known As Honda has been sold to Ross Brawn and will be named Brawn GP.  The name is still subject to approval by the FIA but at least there is no ‘F1’ in the name so Bernie shouldn’t object.

As suspected, the team will use Mercedes-Benz engines and will retain Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello as drivers.  Bruno Senna, the nephew of three-time World Champion Ayrton Senna, had been rumoured to be signed by the team but with so little time before the first race in Melbourne Ross Brawn clearly wanted two experienced drivers:

I am delighted that Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello will form our race driver line-up for the 2009 season.  The vast experience and knowledge that both drivers bring to our team will prove invaluable as we aim to get up to speed in the shortest possible time to be ready for the first race of the season in Melbourne on 29 March.  In what will be their fourth season together, their experience with our team in Brackley, our systems and our engineers, will prove a real asset.

Brawn GP are scheduled to conduct a shakedown of the new car on Friday before testing  in Barcelona between 9-12 March and in Jerez from 15-17 March.

Categories: Teams Tags: ,

Rubens is back

March 3rd, 2009 No comments

Rubens Barrichello, 2008 Chinese GPIt looks like Rubens Barichello, the most experienced driver in Formula One, will be back with the soon to be renamed Honda F1 team in 2009.

There had been speculation that Bruno Senna, nephew of the great Ayrton Senna, would replace Barrichello this year.  Now it seems that with only a few weeks to go until the first Grand Prix in Melbourne, and the team yet to turn a wheel on the new car in testing, Ross Brawn is keen to take advantage of Barrichello’s vast F1 experience.

Last year’s Turkish Grand Prix saw Barrichello make his 257th Grand Prix start beating the previous record number of starts held by Riccardo Patrese and 2009 will be the Brazillian’s 16th year in Formula One.

As with every post about Honda recently, I have to add the disclaimer that nothing has been officially announced, but I’m glad it looks like Rubens will be on the grid this year.  While it would be nice to see the Senna name in Formula One again, it makes sense to have an experienced pair of hands for what will be a difficult year for the team.  Rubens clearly thinks he still has what it takes to race in Formula One, saying at the end of last year:

I have unfinished business in F1.  I am sure I can finish higher up, if not winning the championship. I really believe that is what I deserve.

While winning the Championship is unlikely for Rubens this year, it would be a shame if he didn’t return to Formula One for at least another year.  As the most experienced F1 driver ever he deserves a proper send off when he finally does retire.

Categories: Drivers Tags: , ,

Honda to test in Spain

February 26th, 2009 No comments

Jenson Button, Brazilian GP 2008The BBC is reporting that Honda is planning to test in Spain in the next fortnight. Although there has been no official announcement, the BBC’s source said that team members have been told the deal is done and they should prepare to go to Melbourne. There is still no new information on who the buyer might be but despite Sir Richard Branson nosing around last week it still seems a management buyout is the most likely outcome. It is understood the new car will be fitted with a Mercedes-Benz engine which, if true, would seem to confirm the sale will go ahead.  Mercedes-Benz wanted assurances that Honda could compete seriously throughout the season before committing to supplying engines for the team.

But even if Honda are saved, can they possibly be competitive this season?  Last year Ross Brawn was talking about getting podium finishes in 2009. While it’s true they have missed the first two group tests, so have Force India and Toro Rosso’s new car hasn’t been seen yet (although it will be based on the Red Bull RB5.)  So as long as the team have been developing the car I don’t think they are necessarily doomed to spend 2009 at the back of the grid.

Another question is who will be driving?  Jenson Button is assured a seat but will we see the young Bruno Senna or will Rubens Barrichello get another drive?  While Senna was producing good lap times in testing last year, with their late start to 2009 Honda might be wise to have the experienced Barrichello in the second seat.

Categories: Teams Tags: , , , ,

All your Suzuka are belong to us

February 20th, 2009 No comments

SuzukaLike a lot of F1 fans I was sorry to see Suzuka dropped from the Formula One calendar in 2007 in favour of Toyota’s Fuji Speedway.  With its unique figure 8 layout and demanding corners, Suzuka is one of the great circuits of the world.  It’s right up there with Spa as one of the fans’ and drivers’ favourite tracks.

Thankfully, the Japanese Grand Prix returns to Suzuka this year.  In a statement outlining its 2009 automobile motor sports activities Honda, who own Suzuka, said:

Full-scale renovation work will soon be completed.  As the opening event on April 12, the Circuit will be hosting the Start Suzuka Opening Thanks Day – F1 Kick-off Party. And after a break of two years, the Grand Prix of Japan, Round 15 of the Formula One World Championship, will be held, October 2-4.

“The Start Suzuka Opening Thanks Day – F1 Kick-off Party”.  What a great piece of Engrish!  It sounded like so much fun I went to the Suzuka website to see what I could find out.  There wasn’t anything there about the F1 Kick-Off Party but it sure made interesting reading.

In June 2006 Suzuka Circuitland Co. Ltd. merged with Twin Ring Motegi Co. Ltd to form Mobilityland Corporation.  According to the website:

Uniting the two enterprises of Suzuka Circuit, which has contributed to the spread of motorsports in Japan, and Twin Ring Motegi, which introduced to Japan the new mobility of American motorsports. By concentrating the power and know-how these two companies have accumulated, we hope to be a business providing joy, fun and excitement to the community through an ever richer mobility culture.

So it’s all about mobility, then.  Whatever that is.  Luckily the site has a definition:

People move because they have goals. Community begins when people move to another place and run into other people. Through these moves, they meet different kinds of people and learn about each other; it is there that new cultures and new values are born. We call such movement-related areas “mobility.” Pursue convenience, fun, and the value of mobility; have them take root in the lives of many people. This is what we call “mobility culture.” One of Mobilityland’s main missions is to promote a richer and safer mobility culture in society.

Right, well that clears that up, then.

I’ll leave you with a little old-skool Suzuka action and as you watch Ayrton Senna’s pole position lap of Suzuka in 1989 remember the Three Joys of the Basic Principles as described in the Mobilityland Philosophy:

  1. The Joy of Buying
  2. The Joy of Selling
  3. The Joy of Creating

Er.  Ok.

Categories: Circuits Tags: , , ,