Imagine the scene: waking up on a dismal winter’s morning, dressing gown and slippers on, penis still semi-erect and my 24-hour wear contact lenses making my eyes so dry I simply can’t open them.
I’m off downstairs to cheer myself up with a bowl of Rice Krispies and to watch a bit of news, news that will probably be merely informing me of the economic downturn and, like the ray of light it consistently is, telling me that I’m poor at the moment and I’m only going to get poorer for the foreseeable future.
By this stage it’s obvious to me that not even Rice Krispies are going to make my mood any better.
I think this is exactly how Honda must have felt when they took the decision to pull the plug on the whole of their F1 program.
I mean, it came from nowhere. It’s similar to waking up and deciding, "oh, I can’t really be arsed with work today" and not bothering going in...just pulling a sicky or something.
Well Mr. Honda Supremo didn’t go down the sicky route, he took the far more adventurous path of putting an entire division of his company up for sale.
And do you know what? I think he did the right thing. At present Tesco isn’t selling bread, JJB aren’t selling sportswear and Honda, like every other car company in world, aren’t selling cars.
When selling cars is your core business and you’re not doing it particularly well can £300 million a year really be squandered on a sport? The simple answer is the one which the Honda head honchos came to: No.
Honda pulling out in itself isn’t that big a deal (unless you’re Jenson Button, of course) and frankly I don’t think Honda will have too many issues finding a buyer.
They have a lot of assets and from a personnel point of view everything’s nicely in place so if say a sheikh with billions wants a new plaything it would be ideal.
And then of course there’s Ross Brawn, surely he can call on his contacts and get a nice little Ferrari engine deal sorted? Therefore, racing in time for March is still a very achievable goal.
The main issue is if Honda can think like this then surely that means that Toyota, BMW, and Renault may very well follow suit. I mean, how does look if your axing staff from your factories because your core business is failing, but you are still able to plow multi-millions in to a sport? It looks worse than David Guest.
More worryingly though, what if Fiat pull the plug on Ferrari? F1 as a sport would be more corpse-like than a recently "laid" male praying mantis!
Obviously it’s hypothetical, but if all of these pulled out, then that’s half the grid gone. Remember Indianapolis a couple of years ago? Imagine if that was every race.
I for one would no longer be an F1 fan. I’d rather dedicate my Sunday afternoons to cross stitch or something equally as crap rather than go through that on a fortnightly basis.
So the answer, to keep these teams active even in the current financial climate and to maybe even get a few new privateers, is to cut costs.
Limit the resources available. Even put a cap on the amount of investment allowed. This is what needs to done and it needs to be done very quickly.
So please, Max Mosley, act fast…I mean Sonic the Hedgehog-style fast. Otherwise, next year we might very well still be watching F1 but it won’t be F1 as we know it.
It’ll either be six cars trundling around about six tracks or GP2 will be re-branded as F1, and some go-karting series in Azerbaijan will be rebranded as GP2. I don’t like the idea of either of those outcomes.
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