This week, F1 fans were treated to the not-entirely-unexpected (and by “not entirely unexpected,” we mean “You must be joking me, how did this not happen sooner?!?”) news that Honda have finally decided to pull out of Formula 1. And, of course, what’s the Big Bad that everyone’s blaming everything on these days? If you said “The World Economy,” please pour yourself a big glass of your beverage of choice and drink up. Here, I’m toasting you through my monitor, even though you can’t see it.
You think that’s bad? Follow the jump for even more.
But really, for anyone who’s even had a passing interest in F1 over the past few years, the only remaining shock is how it didn’t happen sooner. Something has seriously been wrong at Honda since the beginning, and nowhere was this made more apparent than when The Team Formerly Known As MINARDI actually managed to blow away Ferrari and McLaren during the 2008 season! And meanwhile, where was Honda? Keeping Force India company at the back of the pack.
Now BBC have reported that Honda desperately needs a buyer in their Christmas stocking, or else upwards of 800 employees could lose their jobs. Meanwhile, other F1 teams are feeling the pinch as well. Mercedes have said they want to cut their costs in F1 by at least 50% over the course of the next two years. And the Guardian speculate that Renault may be next off the boat, with Carlos Ghosn promising to keep a close eye on Renault’s F1 performance, amidst worries that ING won’t renew their sponsorship deal with the team after it expires at the end of next year.
But what would this roundup of recession-happy racecar-related ranting (hey, we like our alliteration and we’re sticking to it) be without at least one driver threatening to quit if things don’t go his way? In a rather misguided bid to cut costs in F1, the FIA has suggested bringing about the introduction of a standard engine across the board for all teams for the 2010 season. Fernando Alonso called this “the last straw” and said such a measure might signal time for his retirement from the sport for good.
Can anyone really blame him?