Posts Tagged ‘honda’

Unverified rumour of the day: Senna signs for Honda

February 13th, 2009 No comments

Bruno SennaThere are rumours that Bruno Senna has signed a deal with Honda and that the team’s position on the grid in 2009 is now secure.

According to, Jenson Button will remain with the new team and the car will use engines supplied by Mercedes-Benz.

However, on Thursday Senna denied having signed a contract to run in 2009 saying his situtation had not changed.

GP2 Series runner-up and nephew of the legendary Ayrton Senna, Bruno Senna had been testing for Honda in November of last year and was lapping within 0.3 seconds of Jenson Button when Honda announced their withdrawal from Formula One. has also picked up on the rumour saying:

Ross Brawn – team principal of the beleaguered Brackley-based outfit, put up for sale by the parent company in Japan back at the beginning of December – has circulated an e-mail to staff to the effect that a deal has been done to secure the squad’s future, and that everybody should begin preparing for Melbourne.

Of course, no-one has seen this email and no-one at Honda is confirming anything yet but an official announcement will have to come soon if Honda are to fit a new engine to their chassis in time for the Australian Grand Prix at the end of March.

Categories: Teams Tags: ,

Honda is running out of time

January 28th, 2009 No comments

Bruno SennaHonda’s end of January deadline to find a buyer is getting awfully close.  Or is it?

When Japan’s second biggest car manufacturer unexpectedly announced its decision to leave Formula One, team bosses Ross Brawn and Nick Fry said they had a month to find a buyer otherwise the team would have to close down.

But with only a few days until February the team is playing down the importance of the end of January deadline and are still optimistic a buyer can be found.

A team spokeswoman said on Tuesday:

Don’t focus too much on any speculation regarding time frames and deadlines. Work on our race car is progressing well.

There have been rumours of several possible buyers for the team including Prodrive’s David Richards and the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim but both have denied they are interested.  Earlier this month Nick Fry said they had a shortlist of about twelve possible buyers for the team with Fry himself rumoured to be planning a management buyout.  While the team itself would probably be sold for a nominal sum (perhaps £1), it would take at least £40 million to run the team in 2009.

While Mercedes-Benz, who supply engines to McLaren and Force India,  has said it could supply the Brackley-based team with engines for 2009, Norbert Haug, the Mercedes motor sport vice-president warns that the team must have a solid financial future first:

If there is a feasible solution with an investor for that team, we would be prepared to discuss it, but the financial background needs to be there. You cannot give any presents at this time and in this climate, but we would like to help for the sake of formula one.

If a buyer can be found soon it would take six weeks to fit an engine to the chassis.

Honda have already missed the first group test in January although so did Red Bull and Force India and those teams that did test got limited track time due to the weather.

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Another transitional year for Honda

January 6th, 2009 1 comment

BrawnRoss Brawn, Team Principal of Honda, has said he is “really optimistic” about the chances of the team finding a buyer by the end of the month. Speaking to Italian paper La Gazzetta dello Sport, he also said Honda have approached Ferrari about the possibility of them supplying engines for the team in 2009.

But while other teams are preparing to launch their 2009 cars in the coming weeks, Honda faces “at least six weeks of work” integrating whatever engine they decide to go with. Honda have already said they will not supply the team with engines in 2009. So once again, even if Honda survive to race in 2009, it will be another “transitional” season for the team. Brawn said:

We are studying a package of evolutions for 2010, when we aim to step up the ladder. Next year will remain for us a transitional one.

How many years does the loyal Jenson Button have to wait to get a car deserving of his talents? It was clear early last year that Honda’s RA108 just wasn’t fast enough but with Ross Brawn signing on and the 2009 reboot of the rules I was hoping Honda (and Jenson in particular) could be competetive in 2009. Unfortunately it seems like Button’s career will be put on hold for another year. Bernie Ecclestone thinks he should hold out for a seat in a top team:

He should be in any of the top teams. I’d rather see him wait to get a seat in one of those than race in an uncompetitive car.

He might not have a choice.

Categories: Drivers, Teams Tags: ,

Honda for sale for £1

December 9th, 2008 No comments

What can you buy for a pound? Half a cup of coffee? 8 million Zimbabwe Dollars? Woolworths tried (unsuccessfully) to sell itself for £1 and now Honda is suggesting that its whole Formula One operation could be sold for as little as a pound if it would mean the team could keep racing.

I hope they find a buyer. I was really looking forward to seeing what Jenson Button and Ross Brawn could do next year after the 2009 regulations reboot. It will be a shame to see Honda disappear from Formula One so soon again after such a distinguished history in the sport. From their first win at the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix in the RA272 (the first for a Japanese car in Formula One) to providing the power for Senna’s McLaren MP4/6 Honda have always achieved what they set out to do – win. Which is why I guess I’m a bit surprised they didn’t stick it out a bit longer this time.

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