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Ecclestone: Honda might regret exit now.


Bernie Ecclestone has suggested that Honda could not see the potential for going from whipping boy to race winner in the space of a matter of months following Brawn GP's stellar start to the new Formula One season.

The Japanese marque sent shockwaves through the sport in December, when it announced that it was withdrawing its entry with immediate effect. The decision came on the back of two years of under-performing, exacerbated by the suggestion that it was spending more than anyone else in F1, and coincided with the global economic downturn.

Weeks of uncertainty followed as various potential buyers were linked to the remains of the team, which were made available for a nominal sum provided guarantees could be given over its future, before former employees Ross Brawn and Nick Fry picked up the reins. The phoenix from the flames act was completed when the BGP001 immediately topped the timesheets in testing - and then went on to win the opening two races of 2009, having benefited from the longest gestation period of any car in the pit-lane.

Ecclestone now believes that Honda may come to regret its decision to quit, as the chance to add to its paltry single F1 win - with Jenson Button in Hungary in 2006 - passes Brawn GP.

“They'd spent an awful lot of money, hadn't gotten anywhere and probably didn't realise the potential,” Ecclestone is quoted by business journal Bloomberg, “I'm sure, if they had, they wouldn't have gone because all this would've been Honda otherwise.”

New owner Brawn insists, however, that the Japanese giant had more than pure financial reasons for its withdrawal and, although he doesn't say as much, is well aware that his two entries are now powered by Mercedes-Benz engines.

“I'm sure they were very frustrated at having to withdraw,” Brawn admitted, “I've had many notes from senior people at Honda, so they are frustrated because, obviously, the team has moved forward, but it was a necessity for their business. It's a pity that they're not part of it."


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keech - Unregistered

April 07, 2009 10:19 AM

Stick the knife in, eh Bernie? I'm not so sure that the Honda engine would have brought the success that Brawn GP and the Mercedes engine has had so far. The Merc engine is widely regarded as one of the, if not the best engines in F1. Its straight line speed and reliabilty are excellent, and i just don't think the Honda engine would have been as strong. Having said that though, Honda had been developing the car a few years, so maybe it would have been good. Whatever the case, you have to admire Brawn GP for being able to bolt in the Merc engine and run so well. Good on'em!

Alan D - Unregistered

April 07, 2009 12:19 PM

Keech said "BE needs to see his name in print every other day" Very true, and MM isn't far behind. Can you think of any other major sport where the head of the organisations makes so many comments every week, and make so many comments about individuals or specific teams? Come to that, can you think of any other sport which has given up its commercial rights and sees money drained out of the sport instead of reinvested in it?



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