John Surtees honda RA 301 F1
Sunrise Sunset: Honda, the power behind Ayrton Senna’s three world championships and whose winning heritage in Formula 1 goes back to the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix, is expected to pull the plug on its F1 programme with an announcement from Tokyo expected anytime now. Honda dominated the turbo era which came to an end in the 1988 Australian Grand Prix with Alain Prost taking the win. Prost, Senna and Piquet at Williams all became world champions with Honda power plants.
After withdrawing from the sport in the early 90s they re-appeared as engine supplier to the over funded and over confident experiment that was the Jacques Villeneuve and Craig Pollock smoke-screen called British American Racing. BAT, British American Tobacco, the team’s sponsor, stopped the burning of $500m a year to their racing ash tray by selling the outfit to Honda for the 2006 season. In slippery conditions at the Hungarian Grand Prix Jenson Button gave Honda their first Formula 1 victory since John Surtees’ narrow victory over Jack Brabham at Monza in the 1967 Italian Grand Prix.
Team’s fortune and performance has gone downhill since Button’s Hungarian dance. Earlier in the season Honda pulled the plug on its B team, the Super Aguri, and now the mother ship is sending out an SOS. According to reports Honda plans to sell the team but if no buyer is found they will say Sayonara to the glitz and glamour of the Formula 1 scene before the 2009 season opener in Australia.
Podcast # 318 Our apologies for the technical problems.
Honda to leave Formula One!
Fernando Alonso will quit if F1 goes to spec motors!
Will overtaking really improve in 2009?
Giorgio Pantano feels abandoned by Formula One.
Red Bull confirm Scott Speed in Sprint Cup line-up for 09.
Motorsports Mondial with Nasir.
French Tragedy: Just as Senna and Prost will forever be linked with their contentious time as teammates at McLaren, Didier Pironi will always be remembered with his Ferrari teammate Gilles Villeneuve and the 1982 San Marino Grand Prix at Imola. Whether it was mis-understanding from Pironi’s point of view or treachery as Villeneuve claimed we may never know. Sadly, consequences were fatal and only two weeks away at Zolder. Season saw more tragedy involving Pironi at Montreal and Hockenheimring. The French driver perished in a high speed power-boat accident in 1987.
The above photograph is featured in the 2009 Motorsport Memories "Powered by Turbo" calendar. Now available on our merchandise page.
Calendar also features an exclusive interview with Francois Castaing, the Renault engineer who turbo-charged Formula One