DECEMBER 14, 1998
Confirmation from Honda
THE Japanese daily business newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun last weekend quoted a senior Honda official as saying that the company will be entering Formula 1 with its own team in the year 2000. This may be the long-awaited announcement of the program although a more formal notification may come in the course of the next few days. The company announced in March that it was planning a comeback in F1 but refused to give a timescale for the plans.
A leak to a Japanese newspaper is traditionally Honda's way of announcing a decision and the latest report would seem to support the belief that Honda is not planning to join forces with Jordan Grand Prix, although factions within the company think this is a good idea. It is hard to imagine how this will be achieved, however, unless Eddie Jordan sells his 60% in the team. He says he is not going to do that.
Dr. Harvey Postlethwaite and a number of former Tyrrell employees have been putting together a Honda F1 team at premises in Bracknell, England in the course of the last few months. We understand that the Dallara-built chassis are ready to run and all that is now needed is an official announcement from Japan.
The word at the moment is that Dutchman Jos Verstappen and Japan's Satoshi Motoyama will be the Honda test drivers.