Jos Verstappen's manager, Huub Rothengatter, has spoken of his charge's surprise and disappointment at Honda sudden withdrawal from running its own F1 team.


Rothengatter, a former F1 driver with the Zakspeed, Spirit and Osella teams between 1984 and 1986, said that both he and his driver were aware of discussions about the project back in Japan, but had neither had expected it to be canned with such speed. "Of course we knew there was something going on," Rothengatter said, "but, while we were still testing in Barcelona, a member of the board made an unexpected visit to the track and said it was all over."


Nevertheless, the Dutchman was hopeful that Verstappen's testing performances in the Honda would make him a wanted man when the silly season started in earnest once again. "I think that, this season, other teams were impressed with the progression at Honda, and the speed of Jos Verstappen on the track.Formally, Jos is still under contract with Honda for three years, but we will see how this develops when the dust has cleared."


"We hope that Bernie Ecclestone can put things together and get the 12th entry filled - maybe with the existing personnel and structure of the Honda team."