Honda quits Formula One racing

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Takeo Fukui, the President and CEO of Honda made a statement on Friday that the company will leave Formula One before the 2009 season.

Among the causes of this decision were the problems in the global auto industry, and the general economic crisis. It is estimated that Honda had an annual budget of US$500m for the team in 2008.

The team Honda Racing led by Nick Fry (CEO) and Ross Brawn (Team principal) will have three months to find a new owner. It may still be using Honda's engines, as, previously, the BAR-Honda team. Nick Fry said three potential bidders had already emerged.

Rubens Barrichello driving for Honda F1 at the 2006 Canadian GP

Honda’s 2008 race drivers, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, still are not confirmed for 2009, nor is the GP2 star Bruno Senna, the nephew of Ayrton Senna, his prospects to enter the Formula One now faded but still exist.

The pullout has raised fears that another major Japanese automotive giant, Toyota, may also quit its team Toyota F1.

Earlier Dietrich Mateschitz's Red Bull became the sole proprietor over Toro Rosso after Gerhard Berger sold his shares of the team. It was said to be done to make selling the team easier.

The 2009 Formula One season will begin on March 29, with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.