The Formula 1 Off Season News Round Up – Part 5 – Quote of the week from Williams

Williams would never choose to leave Formula One

Williams would never choose to leave Formula One

We can’t say this off season is boring although last week started a bit quietly. Toro Rosso announced on Monday that the Honda refugee Takuma Sato will get another chance to prove himself in Jerez.

Around the same time both German F1 circuits came out saying that they may ot have money to hold the Formula One races in the future.

Then on Thursday FOTA met in London to discuss the cost cuts and spicing up the qualifying. The teams came up with a plan to propose a new low-cost engine for 2011 and other substantial cost-cutting measures for the next two years include drastically reducing the current 30,000km testing limit by half. The new engine is to be 1.8-litre turbocharged unit featuring energy recovery systems and consuming 30% less than current F1 engines.

While FOTA members talked the media started to be full of reports of something big brewing in Honda offices.

On Friday morning Mr. Fukui confrmed the rumours and announced Honda’s withdrawal from Formula 1.

Honda Withdraw From Formula One

It took only an hour or so for Max Mosley’s reaction. He announced Cosworth as the chosen ones to supply the cheap standard F1 engines from 2010. The engines Mosley described seem to be very different from the engines FOTA proposed so the guys will have some talking to do to clear the discrepancies.

Following the Honda announcement the guessing game started – who (if anybody) will buy Honda F1 team and who will be next to call it quits. The prevailing opinion is that one more team will depart before the 2009 season begins.

Toyota, BMW, Mercedes and Ferrari all said something about staying and cutting the costs. Red Bull’s Helmut Marko confirmed that both Red Bull owned teams are safe (but Red Bull will have to cut the spending by around 30%). Williams does not seem to be planning any exit either – Williams CEO Adam Parr:

“Williams would never choose to leave Formula One. So long as we can rub together a few pennies and put together a half-decent budget, we are going to go racing. If we have to tailor what we spend to a lower income, then we’ll do that. To me, it’s just completely illogical to talk about Williams leaving Formula One.

We believe that our position is pretty much different to all the other teams because every other team in Formula One is primarily dependent on one of its shareholders that is providing either all or a very high proportion of the income for the team. That shareholder is in Formula One primarily for marketing reasons. They can at any time decide that the cost-benefit ratio of leaving Formula One makes sense.

The difference with Williams is that we don’t have a choice about being in F1, that is what we do.

Couldn’t have said it better, quote of the week … Adam Parr however also expects one more to go:

“I believe that we probably will lose another team before the beginning of next season and there is a very high chance it will be a manufacturer.”

The only two teams keeping radio silence on Honda’s exit are Force India and Renault… I wonder if they have nothing to say or they are trying to say something by saying nothing.

Meanwhile the search for buyers of 2009 front running team to be (AKA Honda) is in full swing. If Nick Fry and Ross Brawn don’t have any ideas where to look all they need to do is to browse the F1 sites on the web for ideas. Martin Leach and DIC (Super Aguri buyers to be), David Richards (Prodrive boss and ex boss of BAR Honda) and even Citroen/Peugeot were connected with purchase of Honda’s F1 operation. David Richards keeps an open mind but he is far from making any hurried decision:

“I’m keeping an open mind. You could say that the facilities Honda have make it an attractive proposition but I disagree. The overheads are not what would be needed in an age when Formula One is cutting costs. I won’t rush into anything.”

Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix: Race

Exit of Honda also immediately sparked speculations about future of Jenson Button and Bruno Senna. No one seems to care about Rubens Barrichello any more … Button is said to be open to any offer that would keep him racing in F1 (what a surprise !) and was even connected with a test with Toro Rosso. Toro Rosso however issued a statement that their selection of 2009 drivers will not be affected by Honda developments Honda is ready to release Button from his rather fresh multimillion contract, Brawn and Fry hope Button will stay and race with the team formerly known as Honda F1 racing. Bruno Senna says is either racing in F1 or one more season in GP2.

Here are the links to other posts on Honda exit from F1.

So, Honda is out of Formula 1, what’s next ?
Are the manufacturer teams actually good for Formula 1 ?
From end of Tyrrell to end of Honda – Honda’s latest F1 odyssey in pictures
Two out, nine to go – How will 2009 Formula 1 grid look ?

And here is one by doctorvee that I really recommend !

Honda’s withdrawal in context

And finally the reminder – the voting for the 2008 F1 Driver Of The Year enters the final week. After almost 800 votes it is still very close between Hamilton and Alonso. Click here for more on the voting !

13 Comments Post a Comment
  1. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    That’s a great quote, and from that I was sure, they will keep racing until there’s no other chance :)

    Kotenoks last blog post..F1Wolf added a video:

  2. ChristineNo Gravatar says:

    Williams have always been very proud of being the only team that solely exist to race in Formula 1. But if you live by the sword, you die by it, and they must be concerned about the way things are going. I’m sure they’ll be okay, but it’s probably not going to be an easy few months for everyone involved.

    Christines last blog post..Essential Reading for December 8th, 2008

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      there are rumours they are going to loose Lenovo to McLaren, that won’t help. Petrobras was to leave too, to Honda though … and then there is that issue of Iceland

      Oris on the other hand confirmed the reneval of their deal with WIlliams, an according to Frank Williams Allianz and Philips will also continue. They will not be flooded with cash but I want to believe they will be OK …

  3. meNo Gravatar says:

    “That’s a great quote, and from that I was sure, they will keep racing until there’s no other chance”

    my only concern is if the f2 deal really works out for them, they may decide it’s is a more profitable avenue long term.

    • KotenokNo Gravatar says:

      Maybe, maybe :) F2 is another category where they could take off again, there are many F1 teams which switched their cars between F1 and F2 (adapting them to regulations of course) and always worked well. I always joined the purpose of Williams F1 as their fan, never mind it was a Renault Laguna on the British Touring Car Champ or with an outlandish F1 van going to brake a speed record.

      If they leave F1 it would be a kick for someone who followed their steps and supports them, but this could happen and it’s reasonable. F2 is an option to continue with their facilities and lower costs, to me seems anyway still the day that Frank or Patrick decide to leave, and Sam is doing a great job now with holding the team united, he plans well the future (he shall not be the only one responsible, but his job has been noticed as well). Finances may be a first hand problem now for everybody, so there is a situation of “equal forces” more or less for everyone, developing the new car for 2009 and 2010 may be the turning point, and the future of the Williams FW31 looks good and hopefully performs better than expected!! But others are doing the same and with increasing speed due their larger resources. Anyway, the confirmations that the team will hold the economical storm are very positive for me, the news gave me peace for now :)

      Kotenoks last blog post..F1Wolf added a video:

      • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

        I do not believe WIlliams (as long as Frank WIlliams and Patrick Head run it) would give up on F1 and focus on F2 instead … I think that the F2, if it works, may be for them a source of some additional income that may help them to keep the F1 operation going

        • KotenokNo Gravatar says:

          That was done in “ancient times” when F1 teams with car switching right? When the F1 teams used to run their own cars from past seasons in the F2 championship. But now F2 concept is changed, the car racing there comes from a production line specially designed to be cheap, no one can bring older F1’s and keep giving them life in F2.
          That’s very far from me, actually I ever saw a F2 race in my life, I was just 2 years-old and too little to remember anything :P But I remember since early age the F3000 which replaced it, I’m a little bit sceptic about the creation of this category again, because there is already GP2 and it’s not far ago from their concept, but, this just replaces F3000 again? If the F2 is the new name for F3000, the teams and drivers are already there, which is the purpose then?

          Williams F1 may have good knowledge of what is living in difficult times, happened to them several times and came out to show that the team is well managed to hold strongly united and keep fighting for their purposes. The F2 car is being developed by engineers of Williams (ahead by Patrick Head), and I imagine they will take a big role in that category together with MotorVision. If they will compete in F2 also? Well anybody has the opportunity to run there a low cost team, so any F1 team could have a perfect place to grow up young drivers and technical’s to gain experience within a F1 team but in their F2 department (hum, Toro Rosso may be interested?), which means less pressure for sure.
          Resuming, Williams leaving F1 for now is too much serious talk, and I still say that there’s no way that this can happen. As you, I do not believe this can happen.

          By the way, since your first post about F2, the F2 site by MotorVision has been created. I saw it some time ago, but now it really shows how the 2009 season has to be. So simple as typing

      • KotenokNo Gravatar says:

        Correction: “to me seems far anyway still the day that Frank or Patrick decide to leave”. This changes a lot my mind thoughts!

        Kotenoks last blog post..F1Wolf added a video:

  4. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    The more I read, the more I think F1 is in trouble. I refuse to believe Frank Williams will be satisfied racing F2, or any other junior circuit solely. And F1 simply will not be the same without Williams.

    What a shame that this is what F1 has become. Williams was a dominate force only a decade ago.

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      I do not not why but despite all the doom and gloom I believe that WIlliams will be with us in F1 for many years to come …

      • KotenokNo Gravatar says:

        Yup :)

        We just mentioned it, it could happen (silly, yeah…). But I’m the first thinking that there’s no way it can happen, it’s essentially a F1 racing team and they do not dedicate to anything else. Anyway, the opinion of Wolf joins mine, Williams Grand Prix Engineering could be a team which runs in two different categories, as already happened before. Williams was a leading company producing racing cars some years ago, specially during 90’s when Renault was very interested in taking some adventage of thier partnership. So why not to take part also in the F2 championship if they’re a technical partner designing the chassis for the F2 standard car? That’s a low cost championship, and they did the car themselves, I think if they gonna race there it would be a nice thing. However, we all know the compromise of the Williams F1 squad to keep racing for much longer :)

        Kotenoks last blog post..

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