Japan’s number two car manufacturer Honda (HMC), is pulling out of Formula One. The carmaker will close down its formula one team before the start of next season unless a buyer can be found by January 2009. However, chances of that happening at this point seem rather slim. Workers at the UK Brackley base have already been told to expect redundancy letters before Christmas.
At an emotional press conference, according to BBC, Honda Motor president Takeo Fukui, blamed the global economic crisis for plans to sell its team, which costs more than $440 million a year to run.
Mr. Fukui said:
“Honda Motor Co. has come to the conclusion that we will withdraw from all Formula One activities, making 2008 the last season for participation.” He added the difficult decision has been made “in light of the quickly deteriorating operating environment facing the global auto industry.”
Needless, to say the news will have seismic ramifications for the sport’s future, triggering the question if Toyota (TM) will be next in line to follow Honda and quit.