The fallout is starting for Formula One. As I feared, the FIA has decided to go ahead with the spec engine option for 2010 and beyond. Oh, and Honda has already pulled out of the 2009 F1 season. The link to the full statement can be found here.
Essentially, what I expect to happen now is that F1 will either cease to exist in its current format, or the teams will leave the FIA to form their own series, as they have threatened before – of course, I could be proven wrong, and here’s hoping I will.
The fact that Honda, one of the worlds largest car makers and one that doesn’t seem to be in much trouble from what I have heard (at least nowhere near the three Detroit operators) has pulled out of F1, is just an indicator of the things to come. At least that is the opinion of Nazi-man Max Mosley. In Geneva this week, the team bosses agreed to cost-cutting measures including reduced testing and a new engine formula for 2011. But Mr. Mosley thinks that this is just too little too late. Of course, this is his opinion because he wants all the teams to use his spec engine idea, which of course, would mean the true end of all that is F1. Essentially what you would have with spec engines in this series is a faster version of Formula BMW. Or A1GP. The Constructor’s Championship would become a joke and no one would watch on TV.
I honestly never thought that Honda would be the one to be done though. I figured that maybe Renault, or Red Bull would go because they don’t have the same market share that Honda commands and they weren’t constantly saying that they were working hard on next year’s car. But I guess that all of that talk was just a way to keep us all distracted. Last year, Honda was constantly stating that they were done developing the 2008 chassis and were hard at work on the 2009. Plus, they had just hired Ross Brawn and were looking toward the future. They were in a rebuilding year, but it seems like they used the wrong kind of cement and their building fell down. But it does seem as though there are other interested parties who may buy Honda F1. Nick Fry, Honda F1 Chief Executive, has come out as saying that there are three potential buyers for the team and that they will be represented on the grid in Melbourne. Hopefully they will be, but it just won’t feel the same. I just don’t feel a connection to a team that doesn’t have a manufacturer behind it. Maybe that’s a little short sighted, but I just can’t root for an energy drink or an Indian force to win races.
So does this mean that the door has been opened by Honda and that other teams will start to bail out while they have the chance? If the F1 ship is sinking, who is going to go down with it? Ferrari, McLaren, Toyota? Probably not. Well, maybe Ferrari, but they were the first to threaten to leave if the spec engines were introduced. So by this logic, it seems as though the sport known as Formula One will be finished after 2010 if Max Mosley gets his way. We’ll see what happens as the weeks unfold.
On a brighter note…oh wait; there is no bright note in F1 right now. Stay tuned.