Monday, May 11, 2009

Boy they must be annoyed

Much of my interest in cars stems from a passion in motorsport. I was racing dragsters with my father from the tender age of 10, I've raced 100cc TKM karts and my first job was working at McLaren F1 racing team in 1988 - the year of Prost and Senna.

So, as an avid motorsport fan, I sat down on the sofa to watch another Formula One race yesterday. Now, a year ago, you could have pretty much have predicted what the podium was going to look like, because it'd been the same for a good few years. It would probably have been a Ferrari or McLaren winning, with a BMW Sauber driver standing alongside them, spraying the champers over the adoring team members and fans.

Not this year however. The change of rules has meant that the form book has gone out of the window and a new guard is now installed. Well, actually a quite old, slightly bearded guard. But at least he's a Brit and we haven't been able to say that since Damon Hill's days. So, all change and all's well then?

Not quite. I suspect that all is not okay in the Boardroom at Honda at the moment for it was those Executives who, at the end of last year, decided that they'd spent enough time and money on Formula One and needed to exit, and quickly. With only a few championship points to show for hundreds of millions of dollars of spend over successive years, they needed to get out.

And along comes the team's knight in shining armour, in the guise of eminently talented Ross Brawn, who buys the outfit on the cheap, gets some funding from another bearded fellow, gels the team together and hey presto, pulls together a potentially championship-winning team in a matter of weeks.

I'm not sure how "Oh Bugger" translates in Japanese, but I suspect you can hear it being said in a good few Honda offices at the moment.

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