The 2008 Formula One season was one the most exciting in recent memory. We have had new races, new faces, new race winners and a new champion. But 2008 was also year of losses for Formula One. Here is brief overview of what (who) we will not see next year:
Super Aguri F1 Team
Once Honda decided to cut the financial lifeline it was only matter of time for the de-facto Honda B team to shut down. The last minute funding from the Honda allowed Super Aguri to race in Australia. Honda continued to keep Super Aguri on life support for three more races while negotiations with potential investors (buyers) went on. But nothing firm ever came out of all the talks and after Spanish Grand Prix Honda pulled the plug on the short lived Super Aguri Formula 1 team. Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson lost their jobs. While Sato may still return to Formula 1 with Toro Rosso, the folding of Super Aguri does look like end of F1 road for Anthony Davidson.
David Coulthard decided to end his Formula 1 racing career that started in 1994 when following the death of Ayrton Senna he was promoted to race driver. His press conference speech following his 3rd place in Montreal this year already sounded like a farewell message, few weeks later ahead of British GP he made the official annoucement.
Canadian Grand Prix
There has been talk about many GPs being in danger but as far as I can remember there was not much talk about Canada being one of the candidates for the ax. The bigger was the surprise when on October 7 FIA released updated version of 2009 F1 calendar without Canadian GP. Surprised organizers started to work on saving the race but ultimately the talks with Bernie Ecclestone failed.There will be no Formula 1 race in North America in 2009.
French Grand Prix
Less than two weeks later the Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile (FFSA) decided to cancel the 2009 French Grand Prix. Although the Magny Cours race should not originally even be on 2008 calendar cancellation of French GP with no new venue taking the place of Magny Cours came as a surprise. Financial difficulties were given as the reason. The French GP will be missing from Formula 1 calendar for the first time since 1955 …
Honda F1 racing
The biggest shock was still to come. Following a day of smoke signals coming out of Brackley on December 5th Honda announced immediate pull out from Formula One. In effort to help finding the buyer they later softened the talking a bit, even suggesting that they may the new owners through 2009 season. One thing however remains certain, there will be no Honda cars or Honda engines on the grid in 2009. Whether some team will rise from Honda’s ashes still remains to be seen.
One thing thatfew will cry after are the grooves. The 1998 – 2008 era of grooved tyres is over. The slicks are back !