SBD/Issue 112/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Honda F1 Team Will Race In '09 Season After Management Buyout

Honda Team Principal Ross Brawn Leads
Management Buyout Of Honda F1 Team
The Honda F1 team "will be on the grid for the start of the 2009 season after a management buyout," according to Edward Gorman of the LONDON TIMES. The management buyout is being led by Honda Team Principal Ross Brawn and "will be funded by a combination of money from Honda itself for this year, funds from" F1 Management Chair Bernie Ecclestone and "commercial sponsorship." Recent reports also indicated that Virgin Group Chair Richard Branson "could be a backer but this was being ruled out by informed sources" Thursday. It is "not yet known under what name the team will operate or in what livery their cars will race." At Silverstone racetrack in England next Thursday, the new car is "expected to run in neutral colors." While driver Jenson Button is "confirmed in one race seat, no decision has been taken on his team-mate" (LONDON TIMES, 2/27).

NOT SO CUT AND DRY: In London, Tom Cary reports Honda Racing F1 CEO Nick Fry, Brawn and three other directors "finally convinced Honda's board in Tokyo to hand over a sum, believed to be in excess of $100[M], to enable the new team to continue racing in 2009 at least." However, Cary notes the buyout of the Honda team is likely to mean a "pay cut of roughly" $7.5M for Button, as well as some 250-300 staffers likely to losing their jobs, "including the test team -- with those remaining taking substantial cuts in pay." But Cary notes unrest at the team headquarters "regarding the proposed takeover, with suggestions that workers may be prepared to go on strike," as "disgruntled employees called the management together [Thursday] to voice their concerns and were left anxious at the lack of answers." One "major bone of contention revolves around the redundancy packages on offer, which are less generous under the new regime than they would have been had Honda wound up the company" (London TELEGRAPH, 2/27).

Williams F1 Owner And CEO Do Not Expect
Team To Suffer From RBS' Negative Publicity
WILLIAMS DOING WELL: AUTOSPORT.com's Noble & Elizalde report Williams F1 Owner Sir Frank Williams and CEO Adam Parr "do not expect their team to suffer any fallout from the spate of negative publicity surrounding sponsor" of RBS. Williams: "Most people we deal with run very large, respectable, businesses, on a vast scale compared to this business, for instance." Parr said, "The other thing is that most of our sponsors and most of their audience is not in the UK. In the UK RBS is receiving quite a lot of intense media interest and speculation, but I suspect that in any other country in the world, it would not have nearly the same resonance." Parr added, "Getting people to come into Formula One as a sponsor is very challenging. It's always been very challenging because it's not the amount of money, but that the image of the sport and the nature of what we do is that it's always a board-level decision" (AUTOSPORT.com, 2/27).

Return to top
Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug