New designs on Honda?

There is much chatter at the moment about Honda colour schemes for next year and indeed about why the team is currently running in plain black. The explanation is very simple. The deal with Lucky Strike has come to an end and the team is in a period without sponsorship. In the case of McLaren the team has been known to paint the cars orange but Honda decided that plain black was a lot less effort. Obviously there is something different in the pipeline for next year and it is fair to speculate that this is probably something to do with marketing guru Simon Fuller, who was taken on last year to give the team an image wash and brush up. It has often been assumed that the white car with the red roundel would remain as this was similar to the livery used by Honda in the 1960s but new thinking - something Honda likes - may throw that out of the window.

Fuller's creative work in music, film and TV, including managing Annie Lennox, the Spice Girls and the Beckhams, not to mention creating the hugely successful TV show Pop Idol, has been innovative and as he has no background in the sport it would not be a surprise to see some fresh thinking.

The team is saying that there is no sponsorship space available on the car next year but previously the team has always argued that it did not want sponsorship to obscure the fact that this was a Honda operation and that the budgets come from R&D and not from marketing. In the world of Honda R&D the big thing these days is anything environmentally-friendly.

There have already been clues with Nick Fry saying that the team may have solar panels fitted on all its trucks and motorhomes (not to mention the factory) next year as the company demonstrates its latest solar technology. Honda recently set up Honda Soltec Co., Ltd., which will produce and sell the next-generation of thin film solar cells. While one might speculate that the cars might run with solar panels, this might be a little too radical but that does not mean that the team will not choose some other ecological theme. Green, perhaps.

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