Will another F1 team quit before 2009?

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Following the news of Honda’s decision to quit F1, the question now is whether other car manufacturers or other Formula 1 teams will follow suit. Will another team quit F1 before the new season begins on March 27th, 2009?

Which team will quit F1 next?

  • No team will quit before the 2009 season starts (31%)
  • Williams (15%)
  • Toyota (31%)
  • Toro Rosso (10%)
  • Renault (5%)
  • Red Bull (0%)
  • McLaren (1%)
  • Force India (5%)
  • Ferrari (2%)
  • BMW (1%)

Total Voters: 914

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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19 comments on “Will another F1 team quit before 2009?”

  1. I don’t think the poll is working. I can’t vote!

    My guess would be Toyota, given that their main rival is now out. I do think that they’ll stick it out for the 2009 season though.

  2. I also can’t vote. I intend to cast my vote for no teams quitting before the start of the next season, but sadly, that dosen’t mean we wont see others quit after the start of the season.

  3. yup, broke… put me down for a vote on williams.

  4. HounslowBusGarage
    5th December 2008, 8:05

    Regrettably I agree with Eric M, I think Toyota may decide to call it a day early in the new year. There would have been considerable ‘loss of face’ if they had pulled out before Honda, but now the way is clear for them to quit with grace.
    Perhaps both Japanese companies will return as engine suppliers only – given that Max doesn’t insist on the spec-type engine.

  5. Bernie has screwed them over that one time too many. I wonder though whether the decision is in anyway correlated to expected performance.

    Did Honda realise that their car wasn’t working as well as hoped? Or was it purely to cost and lack of US market?

    It seems unlikely to me that BMW will pull out as they are on the rise and have a long term plan, bets are off after the coming season though.

    I also think that Williams may see this as an opportunity. If the big teams have no choice but to dial back on the expenses that puts Williams in a better position as they have been scraping a living for a while and are possibly that much more efficient than the bigger teams.

    I think Renault or Toyota are next.

  6. I don’t know enough about the teams’ finances, but was it a problem for Honda that they had no major sponsor (any sponsors at all?) so the car company had to foot the entire bill? Are the other teams on a more secure footing because sponsorship offsets a greater proportion of their costs?

    Honda is also a third the size of Toyota, so F1 is a bigger drain on its balance sheet.

    On the other hand, you’ve got to ask what benefit Toyota has reaped from F1 and it’s hard to see where all the money went. I read a now very prophetic comment a few years ago when manufacturers were rushing to F1 (there were rumours of VW giving it a go) that not everyone could win. Most of the teams would be putting in hundreds of millions of dollars a year to finish near the back. Even when Renault won back to back championships in 05 and 06, CEO Carlos Ghosn was still questioning the benefit to Renault of running an F1 team.

    Still, I vote for no other team to pull out. Out of hope more than reason.

  7. Poll now working, sorry about that.

  8. The poll doesn’t seem to be working, but put me down for Williams. Main sponsor in the tank with already a huge debt… only a matter of time really, unless they and Toyota go in it together. Regardless, I think we might be down to eight teams by the beginning of the season.

  9. Ah, now it is working. Thanks Keith.

  10. I think Toyota’s days in F1 are now numbered, though as with others here I hope they put their lot in with Williams. As Andrew says I think Williams have been tightening the purse-strings a lot longer than the other teams and may actually be better placed than many are realising to weather the storm. Toyota could do a lot worse than scaling back to just supplying the engines and providing funding to Williams so they can show what they can really do once again.

  11. it is hard to say if someone will quite and if yes who would it be. how many people expected Honda to go 24 hours ago ? but if I were to make my bet I would put money on Toyota …

    Now I am not sure if Mosley is just adding a bit of drama to his push for cheap engines but he himslef says that other manufacturers pulling out seems likely …

    “Mosley believes the engine move, allied to other cost cutting measures, will keep the independent teams alive and potentially find new manufacturers if more car makers pull out – which Mosley says ‘seems likely.'” – autosport.com today

  12. I think all teams, bar Ferrari and McLaren, have considered, or are currently considering, such a drastic step.

    At the top of the list, I’d say Torro Rosso is likely to change hands, it’s fully owned by Red Bull to faciliate the selling process (if I understand correctly). Who knows, maybe they’ll suffer a similar fate to Super Aguri and not re-appear in any way, shape, or form :(

    I still see Renault and BMW considering pulling the plug. Renault has seemed waivy on F1 investment, and BMW doesn’t spend as much to begin with – in the current economic climate, despite the two teams doing better than the rest, it’s not far from possible that they will do the same. For those who think differently, we all thought Honda were going to make an impact on 2009 – and they did, just not the way we were thinking.

    Force India, despite somewhat-sound-financial backing, could just cut its losses. It’s predecessors didn’t last that long sometimes, so it’s no shame to pull out after a full season.

    Red Bull, I think will stay in it – no real reason other than they’re making inroads, they’re not a car manufacturer, and F1 is a massive sports promotion, probably now integral, to a few of their operations. They’ve been cutting out parties, and bulletins, etc. out of their budget though, so really who knows.

    And that’s just it – who knows. I can only say, sadly, it would only surprise me if Ferrari or McLaren pulled out before 2009 started.

  13. As already said id imagine Toyota to be the next if any to go followed by Red Bull/Torro Rosso. The economic downterm is not only automotive based and Red Bull GmbH must be feeling the pinch too so could their funding be in jeopordy?

    I’m wondering what will happen with Honda’s KERS development as they seemed the lead runner on development. Has the Ferrari engine supply to the new team got any involvment in Ferrari getting the specs to their KERS system?

    To be honest i’m gutted as i’m a Honda fan :( But honda have been and gone before so i’m sure they will be back in some form in years to come. *Leaves to find new team to support* :(

  14. What are the odds on BAT casting an eye over buying the team? Tobacco has a lot of money, they could get round the ban on sponsorship displayed on the car (BAT livery, then something catchy like Marlboro bar code on the Ferrari). Also the Middle and Far East are good ciggie markets. Only problem would be an engine – I can’t see Marlboro letting Ferrari lease engines to another ciggie sponsored team….

  15. While I don’t think a team will quit before the start of next season, given the apparent suddenness of Honda’s exit, (they were testing next years potential drivers recently) , I wouldn’t be surprised if another team doesn’t make the grid in Australia next year.

    The teams whoes short term futures seem most secure to me, in order, are

    Red Bull
    Force India
    Torro Rosso

    One of the reasons Alonso left Renault was because there were rumours about their long term future and that was when they were winning championships. Although Force India recently signed the deal with McLaren given the economic climate could the team be sold again. As a privateer Williams could be well placed but some of their sponsors are in trouble, and it will be hard to attract new ones at the moment. Because of Toyotas massive budget but poor results people have questioned their furture for a while now. I thought that Torro Rosso where up for sale and Red Bull only bought back the rest of the team to make the sale easier.

  16. Now Honda Quit F1 – Already out

    Next Williams will quit – Pretty soon wait for their hearing

    Ferrari set to quit if Engines are Standardised

    and that funny Owner Mallya of Force India will quit soon, he’s already under loss because of his Airlines.

    No matter what! that spying Mclaren team will stay.

  17. James Allen says in his latest blog entry that some (only some) FOTA members think that at least one and maybe two more teams may not make it to Melbourne, although some others are more optimistic.

  18. http://www.asiaone.com/Motoring/Motorworld/Story/A1Story20081010-92886.html

    It seems some people already “knew” for a while…
    I do hope its not Williams next, however seeing the situation their sponsors are in…if they go it will be for me the end of F1 has i came to know it, since i was born :)


    Toyota,Renault, Ferrari seem to have decided not to follow Honda..

  19. In reality, it is probably team Willy that have the tightest budgetry constraints and possibly the most sponsorship money to lose in the wake of the credit crunch which could spell certain doom for the legendary squad. However, taking another angle on this Team Willy is not subject to a board of directors that need to think of the sustainability of a larger entity like Honda et al. Williams exist purely to compete in F1 and will continue to do so with whatever meagre budget they can scrape together.

    So, rather than tolling the bell for old Frank, let us first consider what will motivate the Manufacturer Teams to remain in or leave Forumla 1 competition. With unemployment rising on a global scale causing poverty on many levels, big car manufacturers could ill justify an enormous F1 budget on the one hand whilst laying people of from it’s main workforce with the other. Manufacturers compete in F1 to showcase their technology to the car buying public. That in itself is pointless if no-one can afford to buy a new car and inevitably will cause the various board members to start considering the continued viability of any motorsport programme, let alone F1.

    So, whilst those responsible for destroying F1 (The Manufacturers) scurry away with their Balance Sheets between their legs it will most likely be left to the stalwart independant teams like Williams to pick up the pieces.

    If we are to learn anything from this, it should be that Works teams should be banned or very tightly regulated becuase their win at all costs approach has potentially brought about the demise of the sport i love.

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