NOVEMBER 3, 2005
Honda and Formula 1
Over in Japan there seem to be a lot of people getting very excited about Super Aguri Racing's planned assault on Formula 1 with Honda but one has to wonder whether this really makes sense for Honda. There are obvious benefits in the longer term and it is good for Formula 1 but the short term problems could cause disruption, which is the last thing that the BAR-Honda team (or whatever it will be called next year) needs at the moment. Let us not forget that the 2005 season was hardly a classic for the team that finished runner-up in 2004 and the best thing would be to go into the 2006 completely focussed on the job in hand rather than worrying about whether or not its second team has all the necessary bits to keep the cars going. Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello have been signed up to make the team as strong as possible and they are not going to be very excited about their team being deflected because Takuma Sato needs something on his car. In other words, Super Aguri Racing needs to be fully independent from BAR or needs to wait a year until it is ready to come into F1 and do the job properly.
This is all very logical but it seems that some of the folk down at BAR are a bit worried by the Aguri fever sweeping through Honda corridors in Japan. An internal team memo written by team boss Nick Fry has fallen into our hands, which makes interesting reading.
"It is Honda's number one priority to achieve race wins and championship success with our team," the memo says. "That is why Honda chose to buy BAR. It is in Formula 1's interests to increase the number of teams and each car manufacturer gave its commitment to supply a second team with engines and technical support. There are several current Formula 1 teams investigating a second team. Notwithstanding this commitment to supply another team and the announcement in Tokyo, our first priority is this team and we will not allow any significant diversion of energy into a potential second team or any project other than winning."
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