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Royal Floor Sweeper
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Honda had quit F1 for 2009 and hopes to find a buyer for their team, assuming that also means keeping Jenson Button and Barichello in a ride and an 20 car grid.

Honda Quits:
http://www.planet-f1.com/story/0,18954,3213_4590842,00.html
On the future:
http://www.planet-f1.com/story/0,18954,3213_4591169,00.html
Looking for buyer:
http://www.planet-f1.com/story/0,18954,3213_4591130,00.html
http://www.planet-f1.com/story/0,18954,3213_4591228,00.html

Button:
http://www.planet-f1.com/story/0,18954,3213_4591061,00.html
http://www.planet-f1.com/story/0,18954,3213_4591946,00.html


Also, F1 is talking to Cosworth about supplying "stock" F1 engines for 2010 and beyond (after next season).
Many fans fear that such would lead manufacturers to abandon the sport, esp. Toyota, Renault, and possibly Ferrari (which I doubt). There IS a clause allowing them to make their own engines, to the same specs as the Cosworth and NO development allowed.

So, now we are down to 18 confirmed cars for 2009 with 4 of them Red Bull owned.
Prodrive was SUPPOSED to be the 12th team for 2008, but never fielded a car.
2008 stared with 22 cars, until Super Aguri bellied up, and ended with 20.

Now, there is:
* Ferrari
* Red Bull
* Toro Rosso
* Toyota
* Force India
* Williams
* BMW Sauber
* McLaren-Mercedes
* Renault
That makes:
3 teams self sponsored, non manufacturer- Red Bull/Toro Rosso (Italian for Red Bull) and Force India (owner also own Kingfisher Airlines, the name on the cars)
2 manufacturers with other sponsors- Toyota (Panasonic), Renault (ING),
1 manufacturer that is part self-sponsored and part other Sauber/BMW (Parmalat, a milk company)
2 race teams with engine deals and non-co-owned sponsors- McLaren, Williams
1 Sponsored by Marlboro though name is NOT ALLOWED on the car!- Ferrari

Honda was fully SELF-sponsored
 

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I'm curious about how the current economic malaise will affect motorsports in general. My guess is that NASCAR will be the will be the bellwether for sponsors abandoning the sport.
 

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Royal Floor Sweeper
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In NASCAR, some things are already happening.
The weaker teams are merging or folding.
Teams are also having difficulty finding sponsorship for the 2009 season. Some have long-term deals, some run on a yearly basis.
Of course, in racing, NO contract is lock proof and most have "out-clauses" for all parties, at any time.
There are rumors for all 4 of the manufacture nameplates (Ford, Chevy, Dodge, and Toyota).
Dodge may or may not exist in NASCAR in the near future, depending on any Chrysler/GM merger, bailout, or Chrysler re-evaluations.
The best news source on NASCAR, often quoted in the media surrounding the sport, and NOT an official site is:
http://www.jayski.com/
(I've read them for a decade now.)

For F1 news, I like:
http://www.planet-f1.com/

Both seem very well informed, even if Planet-F1's "add comments" get pretty lame. Also, both tend to lack the heavy "spin" of official boards and most fan-sites. They have also tended to be pretty accurate in the long-term in both American stock cars and F1, relative application.
 

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Here is another crazy thing having to do with NASCAR. I have a friend who works for ISC, International Speedway Corporation, who own about half of the tracks NASCAR races on. She said that the diecast coming in for the 2009 season will not have the manufacturers logo on the cars. She also said that might change but for now that is how they are coming in. I recently received a 1/64th scale diecast from MRO, Motor Racing Outreach, which came into the country in mid November and the back of the box says the car is a Chevy but there is no bowtie badge on the front of the car. If the Big 3 drop their sponsorships in order to save themselves the 2009 season could be all Toyota.
 

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Royal Floor Sweeper
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For NASCAR, there has been the rumor for a number of years, heightened since the COT, that NASCAR is going to start "self-branding" the cars and really doesn't NEED the auto manufacturers anymore.
The last "slick" car only really varied between manufacturers in front of the a-pillar (hood, front fenders, and nose), the corner window cutout, and the engine itself. A Chevy could be easily turned into a Ford, Dodge, or Chrysler quite easily and a number WERE.
The COT has them even MORE alike. Much of the difference is in the stickers now and specific cut outs that make them look somewhat like the brands on the nameplate.
Recent comments by Brian France heighten that.


It's funny how F1 and NASCAR are so different yet are so intertwined. Whenever one comes up in a car-forum not specific for one or the other, the other is usually mentioned in the first dozen posts of a thread.
I am one of the few I know that is a HUGE fan of both and am a major fan or Montoya and Scott Speed and hope both excel. JPM has done AMAZING the last 2 years, esp. considering how Ganasi's stock car program has honestly SUCKED majorly. He has usually placed or ran consistently far ahead of his teammates!

On JPM . . .
He has has a couple PUBLICLY acknowledged offers to drive F1 for 2009. Red Bull even offered him a "sure ride" option of either team before they "promoted" Vettel. JPM is the best unsigned F1 driver known to be among the very best. He was EQUAL to Kimi (2007 World Champ) when at McLaren in 2006. Many believe he COULD be the 2009 champ if in a top car. JPM said, "No, not interested." He LOVES the actual RACING in NASCAR and the lack of the politics that dominates F1. If you don't follow F1, their politics make NASCAR politics, or even American open wheel, look like a joke.
 

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I read on ESPN a little while back from the Lady that runs the Nascar series for Chevy. That they will not be pulling out or cutting back in the sport. Now all of that changes alot day to day with the economy.
Now alot rides on the name of the driver as well. Where many of the cars are loosing sponsors. Tony Stewart has locked down over 30 million in just 3 sponsors. Yes I am a tony fan. LOL..
 

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Royal Floor Sweeper
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No Limitz Ind said:
I read on ESPN a little while back from the Lady that runs the Nascar series for Chevy. That they will not be pulling out or cutting back in the sport. Now all of that changes alot day to day with the economy.
Now alot rides on the name of the driver as well. Where many of the cars are loosing sponsors. Tony Stewart has locked down over 30 million in just 3 sponsors. Yes I am a tony fan. LOL..
WOW!  Me too!
Ever since the 1996 IRL rookie season . . .

I wish he STAYED at Gibbs!
And in a Toyota . . .


Back to F1:
I am a HUGE fan of Red Bull and Scuderia Toro Rosso.
I hope all this ends with them with a BETTER engine deal wherein they can actually run for championships.
As Porsche and VW/Audi (under Lamborghini brand?) are among those touted being to buy Honda's F1 team, maybe one will sight on with Red Bull, much like Mercedes and McLaren.  It would be interesting if VW got on board and had the Audi name on the Red Bulls and Lambo on the TRs . . . That would be interesting and would work on the Brito-German/Austrian RBRs and Italian STRs.

I would LOVE to see Porsche buy Honda and VW to partner with Red Bulls 2 teams.  Maybe, they can cooperate on a mutual engine deal, spreading the cost over SIX cars and three teams instead of one.
VW and Porsche have a LONG history of working together quite closely, though are completely separate companies.
Heck, Porsche DESIGNED the VW and then based their 356 off of it, but a much improved performance manifestation.

So:
Team Porsche with Porsche engines
Red Bull Racing with Audi engines
Scuderia Toro Rosso with Lamborghini engines
All three win!
Three competitive teams/6 cars
And 20 cars REMAIN in F1!
 

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I can understand Honda pulling out of F1. Even though they have the s2000 and Acura NSX, they aren't really a sport car company and F1 doesn't really help them make family haulers or raise their profile among their target demographic. I think Honda is missing an opportunity by not doing something like the Scion brand or a Subaru WRX.

I think if Honda took a chance and built real Ricer version of their Civic they'd find some real street cred and a new following that F1 would never give them.
 

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Royal Floor Sweeper
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Honda has a long history in F1, dating back to the mid-1960s.  It began in 1963 and closed in 1968, when Honda shifted to focus on racing engines rather than whole cars/chassis.  Their departure followed the death of their driver Jo Schlesser in a nasty, fiery crash.
In the movie "Grand Prix" filmed in 1966, the "Yamura" team is actually Honda with assistance by Bruce McLaren's brand new team, the foundations of the modern McLaren team.  Bruce used the MGM production to help "boot-boost" his team, which in 1967 adopted orange as its team color, as opposed to the Honda-clone hues.  Honda added red to the scheme in 1967, as well.  In 1966, the Honda and McLaren teams looked almost exactly alike, except Honda used a black stripe and McLaren used a dark green (the British color, as his native New Zealand was/is a part of the British empire and Aussies and Kiwis traditionally British racing colors in international racing (see Jack Brabham's dark green and gold stripe and nose wrap scheme).  As you watch the film, you can sometimes notice the stripe on Pete Aron's (James Garner's character) car changes between the two shades.
In the 1970s, Honda focused on engines, motorbikes, and lower level club-style racing.
Also, Honda provided engines in the 1980s through the early 90s (edit: 83-92), providing power to Aryton Senna's championship form. 
They left for a few years (while they powered Indy-style American cars), to return to power the BAR team owned by British American Tobacco.  BAT used their own Lucky Strike, and 555 brand (of Subaru WRC fame) in their maiden year, to sponsor themselves.  Honda later purchased the BAR team from BAT, rebranding it Honda.
One of the rumors is that the former team principle at BAR is heading a group to buy the Honda F1 team, bringing it full circle for BAR/Honda.
Edit: article about THAT rumor: http://www.planet-f1.com/story/0,18954,3213_4610978,00.html

Honda has used high-level racing for a LONG time to elevate the brand image and it's "sportiness."

I would be surprised if Honda doesn't return to F1 as at least an engine supplier sometime in the not-to-distant future.
 
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