Like most F1 fans, I guess, I was in shock yesterday at the news that Honda had put their F1 team up for sale.
I only started to support Honda this time last year when Ross Brawn joined as Team Principal, having been a fan of his for many years when he was at Ferrari, but in that short time, I have come to love the team and admired their spirit and dogged determination.
The very necessary decision to focus on 2009 must have been difficult for the team to accept, but they kept their composure through the toughest of seasons for the promise of better things to come.
It seemed so near, only 16 weeks away until the season opener in Melbourne. The work that had been done was to be rewarded with a respectable season in 2009, and greater success the following year, and I don't doubt that is how it would have been. I had total faith in Ross's abilities to galvanise the team and produce a race-winning car.
And now the dream has come crashing down. What a bitter blow. We have heard of interest being shown by not one, but three organisations, but in today's uncertain world what are the chances of a potential buyer putting a deal together to satisfy the needs of a very expensive operation?
And what of Ross himself?
He thought long and hard about returning to F1 after his sabbatical and his decision to lead Honda seemed so right for him, and for the team that so desperately needed the strong leadership and huge experience he brought with him.
I am afraid that this blow to his ambition to lead a team himself, out from under the shadow of Ferrari, will make him turn his back on F1 for good this time.
The sport needs a man with his experience and passion, and it would be a very sad day indeed if F1 were to lose him.
Whatever the future holds for Ross and for Honda, I am sure all their fans will join me in thanking them for the pleasure they have given us in the past, and a heartfelt wish to see them on the grid at Melbourne.
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