Honda leave F1

So that leaves - the not so young Jenson out of a job. Of course off-track for marketing purposes he looks ideal for Toro Rosso - but I actually think Bourdais would do a better job in the cockpit.

Button who was once lauded as an heir apparent to Schumacher - has gone down the rankings a bit - although he has earned good money at Honda - certainly better than he could have done anywhere else. The underrated Barrichello - has made Jenson look a bit average this year in the laughable Hondas.

Seriously Jenson is obviously a talent - but I am not sure he is top drawer anymore with the new crop of superstars. You have to ask yourself whether in a head to head in equal cars whether Jenson can still cut it against the Hamilton/Massa/Raikkonen/Alonso/Vettel? - for sure on marketing terms - he is still a very valuable and promotable asset in the business (don't dream that  F1 has any sporting pretensions left :)

Now to Honda - well it's probably not a bad time to bail - there is currently no Concorde agreement - and also in the midst of the gloomy global economic outlook their departure is lower profile than it could be. If next year's car was going to be anything as appalling as this year's car - maybe it was best to kill it at birth.

Jenson will obviously still earn his wedge - and probably does not have a mortgage(!) - there are probably quite a few of the 800 odd employees at Honda F1 who are entering the festive period on a bit of downer.

Anyway lets face it - when the big teams are spending £300m/euros/whatever and perform at the woeful level Honda did last year - its probably quite an attractive cost cutting measure to look at leaving F1.  The reality is that the ludicrous current expenditure on Aero etc is a complete waste of time and money - and ultimately Joe Public could not give a toss whether the cars looked the same - and even had control engines - with a total budget of say £30m to run a team. The reality is that F1 is big business and they are quite a few people who have a vested interest in keeping it that way - and good luck to them!

Thing is - this is obviously a tricky a time for F1 - would be good if the teams do seriously look at cutting budgets. Going to be a bit dull if ANOTHER team leave the sport in the space of 12 months. - On the basis that Toro Rosso has been up for sale for the past year - do you really think anyone is going to dive into the breach and offer Honda the £1 rumoured to be the asking price of a team?

 - which has bugger all TV money coming to it for 2009 - no real sponsors - massive overheads - and based on last years car a chassis which have more value being chopped up and recycled

This is a sad departure for Honda - which at it's peak was a serious engineering powerhouse - but even with lavish resources in the past few years have been well below par - management at fault?

3 questions:

1 - Is Toyota really going to follow them - and rely on being in the slipstream of Hondas adverse PR?

2 - Car manufacturers are not doing very well at the moment - how many are going to watch the calendar shift from large car market areas - USA, Europe etc to rather wealthy middle eastern countries who agree to pay CVC large sums for the privilege of a race - where the marketing value to car manufacturers is negligible? Are they happy with the direction of the sport and return on their investment?

3 - At Bernie's age - time left - current domestic drama's etc - does he give a ****?

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