Honda president Takanobu Ito says the company has no regrets about its decision to leave F1, despite the fact that Brawn GP – the team that rose from the ashes of Honda F1 – could secure the championship titles in Japan this weekend.
Honda quit the sport at the end of the 2008 season due to the economic downturn, with team principal Ross Brawn putting together a deal to rescue the Brackley-based outfit.
Having then inked a deal with Mercedes to supply engines, Brawn GP has gone on to secure no fewer than eight victories, with Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello lying first and second in the drivers' standings and Brawn holding a 42.5 point lead over Red Bull in the constructors' championship – with a maximum of 54 points still to play for.
With that in mind, Brawn could wrap up the title at the Honda-owned Suzuka circuit this weekend, while Button could also lift the drivers crown but Ito insisted that Honda had no regrets over leaving the sport – stating it had been the right decision to take given the current economic situation.
“We are still managing our company as if we were treading on thin ice,” he told Kyodo News
. “The auto industry is still in great fear.
“We learned the hard way about the harshness of managing an F1 team. We need to make use of that lesson the next time we do it, if we ever return.”
Ito also said Honda was 'grateful' for the strong results and smooth transition to new ownership since Brawn took over the running of the team.