Ray of light for Honda as team goes testing

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A very surprising story on Autosport.com this evening:

Despite no confirmation that a buyer has been found to secure the future of the Brackley-based outfit, autosport.com has learned that with the 2009 car now ready, team personnel have been instructed to get ready to go testing.

It is not clear whether the preparations are advanced enough for the outfit to be in a position to run at next week’s group test at Jerez, but at the latest the team should be able to join the final major get-together at Barcelona later next month.

Is this a sign the team has found a buyer for 2009? Rumours persist that the team is working on a management buy-out which may exclude present principal Nick Fry.

It is not yet clear what engines the team will use at the tests. If it turns out they are planning to use the Mercedes units they have been offered for 2009, that would be a strong sign a deal is close.

Fingers crossed.

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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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26 comments on “Ray of light for Honda as team goes testing”

  1. I hope this is true!!!!!!

    Then next year we could have 22 cars.

    Fingers crossed!!!!

    1. Possibly more if the cost cutting plans are sufficient to entice another new team to join up too…

    2. I think he’s assuming USF1 will happen.

    3. I know, I’m hoping we might get up to 24 cars… Yeah I’m an optimist….

  2. Keith, Thanks for bringing up the question on engines that Autosport didn’t!!

    I am guessing that if they are going testing, they must have an engine (??!) in which case, some sort of deal must be done, but not yet announced!

    If the deal is minus Nick Fry, then I think this might just finally come together!!

    Fingers crossed anyway!

    1. Rumours persist, and according to a Finnish newspaper, Fry it out and David Richards is in.

      But this story is great news. I wonder what colour the car will be, if they have any sponsor decals and if Bruno is testing?

      Here’s to an announcement in a few days!

  3. Even if the deal hasn’t been done, it has got to be far enough advance for the engine supplier to have some confidence (as they must be testing for the actual 2009 engine) and for the honda to be willing to spend money on testing.

  4. Certainly sounds positive and I can’t imagine that they would go testing without Mercedes engines, given that they will have altered the car to be able to fit them in. Is there much to be achieved from testing with an old engine that you’re not otherwise going to use?

    Hope we hear more soon.

  5. “It is not yet clear what teams the engine will use at the tests” ? Engines, please start your gentlemen!

    1. Well spotted. :-)

    2. Fixed it, thanks for pointing that out ;-)

  6. Tail wagging the dog :)

  7. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7911490.stm

    That story seems to say the deal is done, and we’re just waiting on the legal handover now.

    I hope that’s true, and we’ll finally get this all behind us, and see the 2009 car.

    1. “Team members have been told a deal is close and they should prepare to race in 2009.”

  8. @Mari – good spot and painted a brilliant picture to follow :)

    Hasn’t the removal of Nick Fry been the single most important thing NOT to happen at Honda since DR had enough?
    OK, I don’t know the guy but he has always come across as one of those inept directors in a small to medium business where you just can’t work out how the hell they got there and manage to sustain their position.

  9. EDIT: Oh, the BBC story has him in :( No progress there then apart form JB’s bank account…

  10. This is really great news, if for no one else than the ultimate class act and dues-payer in F1, Jensen Button. I was very much looking forward to this year for Honda and seeing what Button would do in his first year with a truly Ross Brawn-developed car. They’ve lost some pretty valuable development time in the last couple of months, so they’re probably behind schedule, but let’s hope they were far enough ahead on their 2009 while they were focusing on it last season.

    1. Well, if they can make it to the Jerez test next week then given that they tested before the Winter break using an interim car they shouldn’t be much further behind than Red Bull and would have the same amount of running as Force India and Torro Rosso…

      And don’t they have a pretty advanced simulator and CFD setup at Brackley…I know it’s not the same, but they could have been testing “virtual parts” all winter…

  11. With some luck they’ll ditch Nick Fry, but I can’t see that happening, they might just have that mclaren package in time, i think force india said it was a 6 week integration to switch from ferrari to mclaren, so assuming the same for them they could have pre-prepared and are just now waiting on the hardware?

    But new or old engine, the aero and setup are still critical to test.

  12. This is the best news for a while now.

    I just can’t wait for this to go down in black and white!!!

  13. The Mirror is reporting an overnight deal has been done and an announcement is imminent…

    But then again, how many times have we heard that this last fortnight..!!

    1. Far too many times unfortunately.

  14. I hope they’ve had enough funds to build a good car.

  15. Fingers crossed this all works out and they have funding to go racing throughout this year and onwards…

  16. Well, I honestly didn’t believe it would happen, but it looks like it may!

    They may struggle through lack of testing, but this could make or break some peoples reputations!

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