The Formula 1 grid as it stands is down to only 10 teams, which isn’t a particularly impressive number however you look at it. First Super Aguri and then Honda were either forced out or bailed out due to economical reasons.
So where does Honda’s Formula 1 team stand at the moment? Well an article in the Guardian newspaper suggested that the team is in talks with the government about a possible bailout as part of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform’s £2.3m rescue of the British car industry.
Apparently there was a Honda Racing statement that admitted to various meetings the two parties had had over the past few weeks. However, when asked the Japanese manufacturer is neither denying or admitting to the rumours.
As for buyers? It’s clear that there could well be a management buyout and they claim there is no shortage of interested parties. This is all very well but in my opinion this saga should have been resolved by now. Firstly Honda had a realistic chance of having a very quick car in 2009. The team gave up on 2008’s racer almost as soon as it left the factory floor; instead of spending millions on developing a ‘dog’ (something which Honda has become rather good at) they decided that it would put all of its efforts into the 2009 machine. With this delay in a buyout surely much of that advantage has been lost? I doubt there is a huge amount of work going on at the factory still.
Almost all the other teams have started testing and whether it is bought by Tom, Dick or Harry, Honda and its prospective buyers need to get on with things if they stand any chance this year.